Its all relative for young hot shots
THE future of the Gympie Smallbore Rifle and Silhouette Club is in very capable hands if the efforts of brother and sister combination Isaac and Hannah McKay are any guide.
The dynamic duo stamped their authority on the club’s recent awards night, confidently sweeping aside their competition.
Hannah, 13, took out the big prize – overall junior club champion – while her brother Isaac, 14, finished runner-up.
An entire year’s worth of shoots went into the achievement, with the pair contesting events each Tuesday night for a minimum of three times a month to qualify.
Every month, each shooter’s best three results then contributed towards the overall championship race.
Hannah said she was pleased with her efforts, enabling her to claim the top prize and a handsome trophy.
“I was pretty consistent and that was the key,” she said.
When asked how she felt about denying her brother the honour, a mischievous grin spread across her face.
“It felt good,” she said.
Issac, while happy for his sister, albeit grudgingly at times, is busily preparing to upstage her at the next big shoot.
“She beats me quite a bit but I have had a few wins,” he said.
“I want to keep getting better so I can beat her more.”
Hannah, though, is refusing to let this happen on her watch.
“I’m going to keep improving too, to stay ahead,” she said.
It’s a light-hearted sibling rivalry the pair says is helping them excel in the sport, despite only picking up their first rifle a year ago.
“We are definitely getting better because we push each other along,” Hannah said.
Shooting is a sport typically associated with adults, but Hannah and Isaac are living proof of its appeal to younger generations.
Hannah enjoys the heat of battle, and not just beating her brother, but some of the older members too.
“I like getting involved and practicing,” she said.
At first, getting started in shooting was daunting for the pair.
“It was a bit scary because the rifle is so loud, but after a few months we got used to it more,” she said.
The Gympie Smallbore Rifle Silhouette Club has been a major influence on the siblings, offering plenty of encouragement and advice.
A three week program saw both Hannah and Isaac teamed up with an older member of the club who taught them all the basics, along with the importance of safety on the range.
A few tricks were picked up as well, including special breathing techniques to help relax and line up the target.
Meanwhile, most young athletes are content with a few trophies, but Hannah and Isaac are now putting pressure on their father for a trophy cabinet.
It’s pressure that’s showing no signs of relenting as the trophies continue to grow in size.
Looking ahead, the pair is hopeful of owning their own equipment and taking the sport further afield, including state and, possibly, national shoots.
Representing Australia at the Olympics is also a dream in the far distance.
And should this come to fruition, that trophy cabinet may end up not being enough.