Australian Masters Games

Shooting for Gold

By Sophie Fox - 9 October 2015

Shooting for Gold

In the world of sport participants and athletes, making it to the Olympics is often just a twinkle in the eye. But for Clay Target Shooting Ambassador and bronze medallist Deserie Baynes, it’s not just twinkle – it’s a dream already lived.

Fifty-five year old Baynes began shooting in 1970 at the tender age of ten, following in her father’s footsteps – who, at aged eighty-nine, continues to clay target shoot today.

Still shooting forty-five years later, Baynes’ sporting career is fantastically impressive. Competing in the 1996 Atlanta and 2000 Sydney Olympics, bringing in bronze in the women’s division in 1996, Baynes can be considered as an icon in the world of Clay Target shooting.

Following on from the height of greatness that is the Olympics, Baynes has also won gold at the 2006 Commonwealth Games, won a total of sixty Australian Ladies Championships, and has been the only Australian woman ever to win an Open Australian Title.

Alongside these titles, Baynes has also ranked 1st five times at the World Cup and Oceana Championships, ranked 2nd three times at the World Cup Finals and Oceana Championships, and ranked 3rd five times at the World Championships and World Cup.

In other words, Baynes’ shooting career is nothing short of inspiring.

Baynes’, who was previously State Secretary for the South Australian Clay Target Association, has helped out with Administration in the Masters Games since 2009.

“It’s a great time to catch up with friends that you don’t always see, and I like being able to help it run smoothly. For me it’s about being able to give back to the sport that gave me so much,” Baynes said.

But overall, what Baynes loves most about shooting is the friendships and social outlet it provides.

“Everybody needs competitiveness at some stage or other too, so it gives me that as well. It’s really an all-round sport; it’s safe, it’s taken me all around the world, and I’ve met some great people all around the globe.”

“It’s very rewarding,” she said.

Due to the discipline, safety and concentration shooting teaches, Baynes believes that it’s a sport all young people should look into joining.

“It’s very family-orientated,” she said.

“It teaches kids to recognise a safe environment, how to safely handle firearms, which is particularly important in Australia given the number of rural areas, and it teaches and gains a lot of respect.”

“The best thing about shooting is that it doesn’t matter if you’re male, female, big, small, tall, short, fat, thin, athletic or not – it’s a sport for everyone.”

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.

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