PRETTY INCREDIBLE… on several fronts
Three Orange locals will soon be heading off to South Africa to compete at the World Rimfire and Air Rifle Benchrest Federation (WRABF) World Championship and the three of them are all family members. What they have achieved is quite incredible…on several fronts.
The father and son team, Peter Selmes (Dad), Michael and Mark (Sons) have qualified for the Australian team, so you could say that the sporting ability runs in the family.
Michael was the first in the family to show great talent in shooting with brother Mark and Dad soon following behind.
“It was for the Duke of Edinburgh and it was one of the activities that we could select at school. I selected shooting so we went out to the Orange rim fire range at the top of Anson Street and we shot there every now and again with just hunting rifles. Then we met Geoff Knight who is now my shooting coach and he let me shoot his gun and we found out that I was pretty good at it naturally. We then invested in a rifle and built that one up, we then slowly progressed into buying different rifles and going around the countryside shooting at different competitions,” said Michael.
Michael started shooting from the age of 14, now 17, and Mark began when he was 12, now 14, and over the years the hard work has indeed paid off for the family!
“I enjoy getting out and shooting and not many people get to say that they get to go out every weekend and shoot and get to go away all over the countryside for the sport,” said Mark.
Peter added, “It is pretty good to be able to do this sport with my sons, it is just a bit of a shame that they beat me most of the time but when I do get one on them, I let them know”(laughs).
To qualify for the World Championship the three of them had to compete at two different competitions and place in the top 9 and top 3 in the juniors. Peter says he is very lucky to be able to go and compete.
“Australia usually only takes 9 in a team, but they have allowed three more positions, so I have been selected as I qualified in 10th. I get to shoot just in the light and heavy varmit class, but the boys shoot in the five classes,” Peter said.
Competing on the World Stage is a HUGE accomplishment and the Selmes are all pretty chuffed with their achievement.
“It is fantastic to be able to compete at this level as most shooting sports have been removed from the Olympics so there is no way to represent at that level other than going to the Worlds,” said Michael.
Peter added, “It is pretty incredible to be able to represent your country”.
The Selmes are hoping to finish in the top 20 but know it will be hard going
with over 100 entrants in each competition
Competing at this level of competition will bring some very talented shooters but the boys are staying focused and keeping up with their practices until they fly out for the event on August 3.
“To get better we have to be able to read the wind conditions, find the right ammunition and tune our rifle,” said Mark
Michael said, “I think the hardest thing about competing at Worlds will be the different range conditions and the large variety of skilled shooters”.
Peters said, “There will be a high standard of shooters, they are the best in the world and the Americans are probably the team to beat. The Americans actually shoot more ammunition in competitions in a weekend than Australians shoot in a year”.
The Selmes are hoping to finish in the top 20 but know it will be hard going with over 100 entrants in each competition. The three of them also all wanted to say a massive thank you to their coach who has helped make this all possible.
“We would like to thank Geoff Knight as he has helped us all and even the SSAA Club in Orange for all of their help. They have been really good to us there,” said Peter.
If you would like to help the Selmes family get to the World Championship you can head to www.gofundme.com/selmes2019wrabf