The Future

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bartman007
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Re: The Future

#76 Postby bartman007 » Thu Sep 20, 2018 3:29 pm

What about enticing the SSAA to take advantage of our ranges and us their competitions by having a subsidised membership deal where we get 50% off yearly membership to SSAA and they get similar discount with us.

Maybe we would then see more SSAA dual members, and vice versa :idea:
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williada
Posts: 729
Joined: Wed Jul 22, 2009 12:37 am

Re: The Future

#77 Postby williada » Thu Sep 20, 2018 3:35 pm

I congratulate the the VRA for considering changing the format of the Champion of Champions to increase the participation of shooters. Thank you Trevor. The spin-offs are likely to mean more shooters could participate in the associated team events which are struggling to be filled as well as more bodies available to do those necessary tasks of marking and scoring. It is numbers that create the atmosphere for both the winners and the participants. We have to rebuild step by step and this is a great initiative to do something rather than talk about it.

I would like to see this taken a step further in that if club champions are unable to attend due to work or illness then the club could nominate the second place getter in their championship in their stead. On occasions under the current rules, it has been discouraging with fewer battling for the State title when district champions have been absent and the resultant State Champion being diminished when presented with their sash with few in attendance. Success has not been given rightful celebration of achievement in those circumstances. Stories are not created and genuine legends are not made. Is it fear of failure that some might protest at the possibility of a substitute on the occasions the district champion is absent under the current rules? A challenge indeed. I thought a worthy champion was the best as it was in times of old. When I first started shooting, the winner of a Champion of Champions event at the State level was given the same status as a "Queen's Prize" win. I would like to see that again to bring back pride. And wow, when the Juniour Champion had a higher score than the Senior Champion.

Furthermore, If we think about the word "champion", its historical meaning has changed. It needs to be restored to give value to the title. In the days of old, when knights were bold, a champion was the representative of a person or a group to do battle. I'm confident they put put forward their best representative in order to win. The prospect of a loss was not good for one's health then. Hence the need to substitute when the champion is not available to contest. Spirit of tradition was also linked to these times too, such as a "Kings Prize" (the pinnacle for archers before firearms were invented) in England. It seems to me the concept of a champion has been diluted to the point it has become an attendance criteria even at club level or where a single member in a shooting class has no opposition to test their worthiness and to add status to the event. Formats need to be reviewed.

Old rules need to be adapted/replaced for relevant governance of the sport, to increase participation and foster an increased critical mass of the movement so we can be sustained as part of the shooting movement. Grey power still holds the most votes, and in Victoria the sentiment has changed with the State government providing grants for ET's and range development. This is done at the club level and is therefore significant. It is bottom up reform.

Numbers at The Queen's prize events have dropped off significantly (hundreds). I agree with Danny that the rebuild should start at club level where the expertise can help rather than be absent too. Moe City has attracted a lot of new members and we have put them in leadership roles to blood them, to run the club and they are supported not only with shooting skill development but by leadership mentoring and open, respectful discussion. The environment is based on self improvement. Its a happy place and good sense management is explained and the politics does not become an issue when people are informed and new members are enthusiastic. Democracy prevails and member shooting success has followed to unite and develop the club.

I would like to see a proper process for handling grievance disputes which can destroy our participation in our sport because its important to establish a positive culture to bring people together to cut out old festering wounds that are not in the interests of genuine competition. If we are not united we fall over from self-inflicted wounds. Decent sanctions would reduce the fallout at the club level. I suggest clubs develop their own grievance procedure. They can be assisted to do that, but the procedures have to be owned by the stakeholders and agreed too to give the message, "This is how we do things here." If you want to change it raise it at a brief meeting after a club shoot to test the level of support. Don't backdoor. Ethics are important.

With regards to skill development, I would like to see the re-introduction of goal based awards or levels of competence such as sew on badges in recognition of those skills such as "Marksman", "Expert" and "Mastershot" and encourage others to seek advice from those wearing such badges.

Realistically, the DRA's have lost status when Howard changed the Defence Act. They are now often an unnecessary burden by duplicating decision-making with the same faces and same heads that operate at club level. Ninety-nine percent of clubs are incorporated and as such have their own legal entity. The firearms laws are state based and generally supported by uniform legislation across states. Sometimes we forget we have been given the power to make decisions at the local level and are bowing to illusory hierarchy. This may include a right to renegotiate the terms of rifle range use in Victoria with the Police department and government agencies now providing sporting grants. Perhaps engage meaningfully with the SSAA. Looked at carefully this may open the way to expand our numbers and re-energize the movement.

bobeager
Posts: 360
Joined: Wed Jun 22, 2005 1:29 pm
Location: Goulburn NSW Australia

Re: The Future

#78 Postby bobeager » Thu Sep 20, 2018 3:53 pm

I love my F Class Shooting. It is the big thing in my life after family. But, sadly, I have come to the conclusion that Full Bore Target Shooting as we know it has no long term future. On its current trajectory, without radical change, it will cease to be viable within 10 to 15 years.

Why you ask?

The "disrupt-er" was "Port Arthur". The movement was cut loose by the Commonwealth, and with it, political and financial support was gone forever.

Our movement has not adapted to the subsequent socio-political environment where governments and the population has become increasingly urbanised, less interested in out-door pursuits, and is at best ambivalent, or at worst, against, any form of firearms ownership.

The result, is that over the past 20 years, full bore shooting has declined in membership and participation.

Factors that are accelerating the decline are :-

Cost:
Rifles, equipment and ammunition has been getting more technically advanced, but has likewise significantly risen in cost.
The current administrative structure of the sport, and the cost in both real dollars, and imputed volunteer labour is unsustainable with a declining membership.

Ageing Demographic:
There are not enough younger entrants to replace the the ageing stalwarts of the sport, many of them life long participants. Another 10 to 15 years will see most of them gone.

Pressure on Rifle Ranges:
Urban expansion, coupled with revised safety templates is closing ranges, particularly in country towns.

With an ageing, declining membership, falling participation, increasing costs, coupled with the loss of country ranges, sadly, I see no future for our sport beyond the 2030's.

As for my club in Goulburn. The "old blokes" tell me that post WWII, our range had 15 Targets in operation with 100 to 150 shooters. There was a second range in town at Kenmore. In the district the were ranges at Marulan, Tarago, Bungonia, Crookwell, Queenbeyan, Bungendore, Canberra and Yass.
Its all GONE, except Canberra and Goulburn. We now have two targets and a participation rate of 15 on a good day. The range in now under threat of closure due to modern day Templates and urban expansion.

Our Club has gone "above and beyond" to make ALL welcome, but we are only just holding on.

Sorry, but fiddling around with PRS, Hunting Rifles, trying to entice SSAA members and such stuff alone is not going to save the sport as it is currently STRUCTURED and ADMINISTERED.

We do not have the membership base, hence NOT the MONEY and POLITICAL clout, to survive alone. The declining membership has to support the current structure - Clubs, DRA's, NINE ( yes 9) STATE/TERRITORY Associations, AND a National Body. "We" do not even have a National Membership Office, "We" do it 9 times over.

Like it or not, the SSAA took advantage of the post "Port Arthur" situation, and are now moving towards a national membership of 200,000. Last year they distributed some millions of $'s to clubs for development.

They have the members and the money, we have the ranges and traditions, surely we can work something out for the good of all sports shooters.



(I am also a member of the SSAA) ( I doubt that any of the SSAA Disciplines could survive as stand alone organisations either)

DenisA
Posts: 1428
Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2011 7:00 pm
Location: Sunshine Coast, QLD

Re: The Future

#79 Postby DenisA » Thu Sep 20, 2018 3:54 pm

bartman007 wrote:What about enticing the SSAA to take advantage of our ranges and us their competitions by having a subsidised membership deal where we get 50% off yearly membership to SSAA and they get similar discount with us.

Maybe we would then see more SSAA dual members, and vice versa :idea:


I've been a fan of this idea for a long time.

DenisA
Posts: 1428
Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2011 7:00 pm
Location: Sunshine Coast, QLD

Re: The Future

#80 Postby DenisA » Thu Sep 20, 2018 4:11 pm

Its true that the shooting sports membership may not be what it was a long time ago but that doesn't mean that its all doom and gloom.
Safety course numbers are still high, the number of firearms licences are high and still on the increase and there are far more gunshops around now than there were 9ish years ago when I started.
We've even seen the likes of Gun World running large billboards on the highways, with a successful outcome when dragged through court.

People are shooting again and becoming more and more comfortable around firearms. Its a mistake to think that there's not a place for Australian F-class in the future if its administered. marketed and promoted correctly.

williada
Posts: 729
Joined: Wed Jul 22, 2009 12:37 am

Re: The Future

#81 Postby williada » Thu Sep 20, 2018 4:41 pm

Denis the public are becoming more accepting of shooting again. In Victoria, we have a deer problem wrecking State and National parks. These were once no go areas but shooters and organised culls are being accepted now that the message being promoted is Australians have tough gun laws and better licensing testing and back grounding. Illegal drugs/gun running has also been target by a national offensive. This assists responsible gun ownership and at least recognised by large expenditure down here in the form of grants now that a few years ago would not have seen the light of day. Its up to us to now to see the opening and take an opportunity. So I wholeheartedly agree with your comments about administration, marketing and promotion. Its not all doom and gloom. It should be remembered that small numbers in the UK held the fort until things improved.

bobeager
Posts: 360
Joined: Wed Jun 22, 2005 1:29 pm
Location: Goulburn NSW Australia

Re: The Future

#82 Postby bobeager » Thu Sep 20, 2018 4:58 pm

If you take my post as "doom and gloom" so be it. What I am trying to say that without a proper strategic plan, with eyes wide open, based on facts and figures, the future of Full Bore Target shooting is uncertain at best.
Asking, and expecting clubs to go and find ways to increase membership is not a PLAN. It is akin to the General to asking his soldiers to go over the top and see what they can do, and if they survive, "let me know how you got on".

If you do not understand what I am trying to say, clearly you have not been at the pointy end of a business in trouble. Over and out

DenisA
Posts: 1428
Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2011 7:00 pm
Location: Sunshine Coast, QLD

Re: The Future

#83 Postby DenisA » Thu Sep 20, 2018 5:34 pm

Bob, I was not referring to your post. I was just making a point in reference to the poor outlook that this thread and others like it in general make us feel about the future of the game. I said it myself, I've resigned to the fact that our game won't recover and I'll enjoy it while it lasts. I just wanted to make the point that it doesn't have to be like that in terms of their being a growing market out there.

But you are right, I have not been at the pointy end of a business in trouble. For the last 15 years my business has continued to grow and evolve despite MANY challenges, industry and business developments. I'm fortunate in that I don't have business partners and can make my own choices as I see fit, unchallenged. I'm not tooting my own horn but the point should be made since you've challenged my experience that I do understand small business at least and understand what it takes to stay current.

bobeager
Posts: 360
Joined: Wed Jun 22, 2005 1:29 pm
Location: Goulburn NSW Australia

Re: The Future

#84 Postby bobeager » Thu Sep 20, 2018 6:24 pm

Denis, I am pleased to hear your doing well. Did not mean to offend. You will know what I am trying to say.

At the bottom of the hierarchy we have tried hard to grow our club. We have two members that run Firearms Safety Courses frequently for many years now. (and they donate the fees to the club). However, we have not converted more than a couple over to Full Bore (TR and F Class). They get their licence, so they can purchase a firearm, and many go join the SSAA.

We have treated prospective members like "gold" ( almost to the extent, if its safe and goes bang, have a go). But we fail to keep many. Those we do keep, are fantastic, and love the sport. My real concern is that on balance, the numbers are trending down, due mainly to an ageing demographic.

My concern is that over the next 10 to 15 years, the overall number of participants will continue to decrease, even though the "quality" of those who remain or as new entrants will increase.

But, we have a national administrative structure that was put in place when there were thousands of shooters, using rifles subsidised by the commonwealth together with free ammunition.

Inevitably, at some point the membership will reach a a point where it will be unable to support that structure. Increasing membership fees, will only deter new entrants, and potentially cause the older membership to leave.

Something has to give, sooner or later. Better to have a plan(s), than no plan.

MCLE
Posts: 279
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2013 10:08 am
Location: Melbourne

Re: The Future

#85 Postby MCLE » Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:00 pm

When I have spoken to different shooters over the last few years it seems it depends on where you are geographically as to your outlook on how things are travelling ..
Speaking to shooters who shoot on say Belmont range things probably look good ..
I was told a few years back that on some Saturdays they can have 80 + shooters don't know if that's correct but from memory that's what l was told there are a few clubs on the range ..
And good luck to them its a beautiful range and if I lived up there l would shoot there as well ..
But you get a different response talking to a shooter in a country club who might have only not long back had the power put on and sit in a small tin shed They have maybe 8 to 10 shooters on a good day and sometimes not enough shooters to be able to shoot . So there view of things is completely different they pay the same NRAA fees and now insurance and are getting little in return ..
So why wouldn't the Nat council have the same view . Looking out the window while having Council meetings things would look very Good at Belmont ...

Trevor Rhodes
Posts: 86
Joined: Mon Feb 03, 2014 8:31 pm

Re: The Future

#86 Postby Trevor Rhodes » Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:17 pm

Well Michael with current clubs that can't get on with each other at Bendigo not like Belmont every club welcomed, so they shoot different days and god help those who want to move their club to the Bendigo range as l have experienced and your club the biggest objector. Until the mentality has changed the sport will continue to decline.

Wal86
Posts: 150
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2016 5:10 pm
Location: Kilmore, VIC

Re: The Future

#87 Postby Wal86 » Thu Sep 20, 2018 10:54 pm

I just got home from doing a firearm safety course, as the young fella is getting his junior permit...
When mention was made about reasons for owning a firearm, joining a club etc...

The three examples were:
SSAA
Field and Game Australia
Deer Stalkers Association

I made mention of the NRAA/ VRA and all 4 instructors were unaware we existed, they were aged 45 to 70 years old and all shooters.....
Later on at the end of the night I found out they are putting 35-80 applications through a month in Seymour alone... This wasn't including the 4 other firearm safety nights, which they run in other areas..

Just a thought..

Cheers

MCLE
Posts: 279
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2013 10:08 am
Location: Melbourne

Re: The Future

#88 Postby MCLE » Fri Sep 21, 2018 5:12 am

Trevor Rhodes wrote:Well Michael with current clubs that can't get on with each other at Bendigo not like Belmont every club welcomed, so they shoot different days and god help those who want to move their club to the Bendigo range as l have experienced and your club the biggest objector. Until the mentality has changed the sport will continue to decline.


I posted this Trevour in frustration at the way we are slowly loosing members and the way we keep doing the same things and hoping to get a different outcome ...
I haven't made it personal Trevour but let me know if you do and we can all air our dirty Laundry ok !!!!!!
Belmont is close to a Capitol city they have a big population very close so easily acceptable for everyone .. Very good facility's it's an extreme example .As to was my example of country clubs with only a handful of members .. But I would bet there are more examples of country clubs on their knees needing help and numbers ...

RMc
Posts: 98
Joined: Wed Jun 10, 2009 8:16 pm

Re: The Future

#89 Postby RMc » Fri Sep 21, 2018 6:58 am

Michael, I can see where Trev is coming from. The situation we have at Bendigo is disgusting. Our state range where the sport is probably shown at its worst.
As for Belmont, how many clubs are based out of there? Is 80 really a healthy situation?
Richard

Barry Davies
Posts: 1181
Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2010 12:11 pm

Re: The Future

#90 Postby Barry Davies » Fri Sep 21, 2018 7:54 am

Michael,
Cast you memory back a couple of years when some tried to bring about change at SBRC-- remember what happened. Some people can see the writing on the wall long before others, then there are those who don't want to see because it takes them out of their comfort zone.
The worst thing that could have happened to this movement happened the day all clubs and DRA's were ordered to become incorporated.
Now we have a whole bunch of people running around doing their own thing, even though their constitutions basically say the same thing with respect to " statement of purposes "
We are supposed to be a " united " association with the same purpose in life -- what crap, and until that is sorted out we will remain stagnant.
You can introduce whatever other disciplines ( eg PRS ) you like but until we are reunited nothing is going to change.
Barry


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