Tucked away behind the Sports Centre, underneath the old boiling chambers that used to heat the Belfield campus, is a 10 metre target shooting range, home of the UCD Target Shooting Club. Since its foundation in 1989, the club has maintained a fully student run range on campus. It is open to all students, faculty, staff, and alumni of UCD.
The club has recently restarted after a multi-year break. Our goal has been to rebuild the base of the club through introducing newcomers to the sport of target shooting, and training them fully. Training is run by the trained volunteers of the club, and can be completed within three, one hour long, training sessions. The club instructors and range officers are qualified by the National Small-bore Rifle Association, the UK governing body for all Small-bore Rifle and Pistol Target Shooting.
We have been very successful in our goal. In the 2018/19 academic year, the club was able to take a group of mainly inexperienced but interested students (myself included) and train them fully from new shooters to being able to safely instruct groups of new shooters and being able to safely conduct a range. From that group of trained volunteers we have been able to expand our membership this year, and have more than tripled our membership count. We are very excited for this opportunity, and for everything will be able to accomplish with a proper base of members.
With regard to that, one of our key goals for next year is to run more and larger events. We’ve ran a few this year, and there certainly have been some highlights, such as the “Shoot-in” before the Trimester 1 exams, which was an excellent break from the studying and the stress. It was two games, the first based on your accuracy at shooting, then another where you worked with a teammate to score in tandem. After a showdown between two teams in the final, everyone retired to the Clubhouse for pizza and prizes. Well worth the low cost of €5 for an evenings fun and food.
Unfortunately, our events this semester have been cut short by the closure of campus and thus the range at UCD. For the next year, we plan to develop the social and competitive aspects of the club, fostering a sense of community and competition within the members. There should be a club ladder running soon, with regular updates to the standings. We are planning to form a competitive team to compete in Irish target shooting competitions. Finally, of course, we are planning on training new members come next September so that they too can experience the wonderful sport of target shooting.
If any of this sounds good to you, please do check us out during Freshers Week. We’re always looking for new members and no experience is necessary to start. If you have any questions, just email [email protected] and we will get right back to you!
Adam Goodwin – UCD Target Shooting Club