By Sophie Fox - 9 October 2015
For some, the best thing about target shooting is the adrenaline, but for shooter Debbie McPherson it’s all about the comradery.
The 49 year old only took up shooting five years ago when she went to buy a gun needed for vermin control on her property.
“There’s a lovely old man who’s a gun dealer down near me. I asked for a particular gun that I wanted, and he offered to take me out to the paddock and show me some clays…and that’s how it started,” McPherson said.
“I came out to his local club and had a go and thought, this is fun! He showed me the ropes, and off we went.”
Whilst this is the first year McPherson has participated in the Masters Games she has had a stellar shooting career in a short period of time.
Last year she won gold with the SA Ladies team at the Clay Target Shooting Nationals and this year she picked up individual bronze, silver and gold.
Being such a male-dominated sport, it is easy to assume that participating as a female would come with stigma – but McPherson says it isn’t like that at all.
“Ninety-nine point nine percent of the men are incredibly encouraging and very supportive,” McPherson said.
“There’s a real comradery here. It’s one of the only sports where you can shoot next to the highest, elite people that have been in Olympics, and you can talk to them like anyone else, and you can shoot with all your mates. It’s like going to a barbecue every week with your mates and a different group of people. It’s great.”
Although new to the Masters Games, McPherson is loving the experience.
“It’s three days of shooting! Most shooters will be in it if they can. We’ve met a lot of new faces, I’d say we’ve met about forty percent of the shooters here.” McPherson said.
“It’s more about the fun rather than the competition, these few days. I think everyone’s in for how much fun they can have, they’re all trying something new. People have tried things for the first time this week and said, ‘oh, that was fun! I’ve never done that!’”
“And it’s great...I love it.”
The 15th Australian Masters Games are being held in Adelaide, October 3-10, featuring more than 10,000 participants from across Australia and around the world.
The Australian Masters Games is proudly sponsored by the South Australian Tourism Commission through Events South Australia.
We're heading west! The next Australian Masters Games will take place in Perth in 2021.
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