Shooter Campion ends 113-year wait

COMMONWEALTH GAMES shooter Sarah Campion admits she has ‘big shoes to fill’ after becoming the first female president of the Western Miniature Rifle Club – 113 years after its formation.

Sarah Campion has become the first female president of Western MRC in 113 years Picture: ROB CURRIE
Sarah Campion has become the first female president of Western MRC in 113 years Picture: ROB CURRIE

The Gold Coast 2018 competitor (right) was elected into the top role at the club’s St Peter base earlier this week, following the retirement of Mo Le Mottee, to cap off a memorable 12 months both on and off the range.

Campion, who will be supported by newly-elected vice-presidents Paul Pinel and Andrew Hood, won the individual Island Championship crown in 2019/20 while steering Western to top spot in the JSSA Indoor League for the first time in 36 years.

‘I took on the vice-presidency last year because there was an opening but I didn’t think it would only be a year before becoming president,’ she explained.

‘I’ve been doing shooting since I was 11, so I’ve been there a while and I thought “why not”. I’ve always wanted to do something like this and a lot of people had asked me about it and encouraged me.

‘A new generation has taken over, which is nice, and we’ll all be looking to move the club on to the next stage. We won the league for the first time since 1984 this season and we’ve had a lot of new members coming in – it’s great to see the club doing well.’

Campion added: ‘It does feel daunting. I’ve got big shoes to fill and I want to do my best so I don’t let them down. Being the first lady president, I feel I’ve got something more to prove to keep the club ticking along in the right direction.

‘Sid Payn did about 20 years and Mo has just done nine. I don’t know if I want to do another 40 but I’ll do a few years at least. We’ve done quite a lot over the last few years but it will be nice to encourage more new members to join, and more ladies as well.

‘We’ve got more females than ever before junior-wise, with lots of girls coming through and we put an all-female team into competitions for the first time this season to give them a feel for it. It will be the youngsters who take over from us one day and we’ll obviously want them to take the club on like it has been for so many years. It’s been there since 1907 so it’ll nice to keep going.

‘I’ve done so much with shooting – the Commonwealth Games, the Island Games – I’ve had some great opportunities so it will be nice to help give those opportunities to the youngsters and give them guidance. But success isn’t everything ... it’s the social side as well. The clubhouse is a nice place for people to come and compete, make new friends and socialise.

‘I was club champion this year and Island champion for the first time, and we won the A-team division title as well. I was captain for that, and now I’ve become president – I’ve had quite a big year throughout the 2019/20 season, despite everything that’s going on at the moment.’

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