IN TOUGH TIMES HOW DO YOU STAY MOTIVATED?
“ALWAYS LOOK AT HOW FAR YOU HAVE COME RATHER THAN HOW FAR YOU HAVE TO GO.
ALWAYS COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS NOT WHAT YOU ARE MISSING.
THE SPORT SHOOTING
EARLY HISTORY OF TARGET SHOOTING AS A SPORT
The sport of shooting at a mark started as a test of marksmanship long-before the invention of firearms. In the year 1300 the archers let their arrow fly at the practice-target to prove their stability and accuracy of their equipment. Afterwards, target-shooting become an established-sport in many European countries on gradually continued to develop. As far back as the 15th may 1406 in Munich Germany, the royal privilege central shooting society (HSG- KGL, HAUPT – SCHCITZEN GESSLLSHAFT) was registered to practice the initially, it has been – developed and restricted to royal-families and known to be the sport of rich people who used it as their hobby and enjoyed through hunting. The modern-concept of the sport began in the 19th century with the current-cycle of the Olympic-Games in Athens-Greece in 1896. In the recent times, the shooting is universally practiced on the legally-approved shooting-ranges and firearms on the recommended-targets graduated with scoring-zones between one to ten (1 – 10) points and according to the fixed-rules.
TARGET-SHOOTING AS A CONTEMPORARY SPORT
Target-shooting provides a harmless means of satisfying the desire of an individual to demonstrate superiority over others with the emphasis on mental rather-than physical characteristics. Despite the nature of equipment-used, competitive marksmanship has a level, of being the safest since its inception as a sport practiced only on amateur level which contributes to a reduction in anxiety and physical or somatisized – stress. The safety of follow-competitors, range-officials and spectators is usually achieved though caution to firearms-handling, and strict-adherence to simple but important-rules, thus in whatever-form shooting is practiced (competitive or recreational) is a health-sport, a refreshing pastime and a necessary-sport of the defense of one’s homeland.
The sport of shooting was an important-part of the Olympic-movement which featured in the first modem Olympic-Games in Athens-Greece in 1896. Nowadays, there are four different shooting disciplines with various events of the choice of individual male or female shooting athlete. After the amalgamation of the various Global regional bodies into the international shooting union (UIT) in 1907, (renamed as the international shooting federation ISSF in 1998) many counties from different-continents joined the controlling-body including Nigeria in 1976 thus, NSSF became the official controlling-body for the sport of shooting. Nigeria also became a member of the African Shooting Federation (ASSF) founded in 1981. The first world shooting championships was held in the year 1987 in Lyon-France. The cycles are currently held in every four (4) years midway between the Olympic Games. Commonwealth Games started in the year 1930. ISSF adopted the moving target competition between 1965 in Wiesbaden-Germany while its first Olympic-competition was in 1972 in Munich-Germany.
The sport of shooting can be as interesting and exciting just as any other sport where spectators can observe whole competitions – live. It is both indoor and outdoor sporting-activity which can be followed on equal-footing by men and women either on competitive or recreational-basis. It is a sport somewhat-unique from many athletic-endeavors in that, a specific body-conformation or strength is not required shooting – athletes are never “over the hill” not at the “end of the career” at the age of thirty. World-class shooters are in all shapes, sizes and ages. Joseph Jackson was forty (40) years-old when he competed in Atwerp-Belgium Olympics in 1920 and Oscar Gomer Swahn from Sweden was 60 years-old when he became the Olympic-Champion in Paris-France Olympic of 1900 and kept winning coveted-medals in 1908, 1912 and at the age of 72 years, was the silver-medalist in Antwere-Belgium Olumpics in 1920, Aileen Riggin was 13 years-old when he competed in the Belgium: Olympics of 1920 and William Macus Dinwindle from America was sixteen (16) years old as the youngest medal-winner of 1924 Olympic Games in France.
In the sport of shooting, the referee or judge cannot spell the difference between winning or losing. Above-all, the champion must not physical – hurt or attempt to the opponent from winning. Shooting is a sport of learned-skill developed through mental and physical-practice that help in the lifetime-techniques of thinking, goal-setting planning, concentrating, evaluating and decision-making. It is the individual-desire, dedicating, persistence, clear-thinking as well as excellent mental-control that determine how successful as shooting-athlete might-become.
A BRIF – HISTORY OF THE NIGERIA SHOOTING SPORT FEDERATION (NSSF)
The Nigeria Shooting Sport Federation NSSF, (Formerly- known as the Nigeria Amateur Shooting Association (NASA) come into existence on paper in September 1976, following the decision – reached during the meeting of the Commoner’s in charge of sport held in Lagos early in the year as the sole controlling – body for the sport of shooting in the country.
Thus, the Nigeria Shooting Sport Federation become a member of the International Shooting Sport Federation and also a member of the African Shooting Sport Federation ASSF (founded in March 1981). Commodore Edwin Kentebe was the pioneer-chairman to steer the affairs of the federation followed be a few elected-leaders and culminating with the present shooting – Federation –President, while Mr. P.O.C Achebe was the first Federations, Gen. Chijuka, Gen. JGS Hamakim, Wole Madariola, Gen L.O Adeoye (Rtd), – Secretaries; whom many other administered the sport from Mrs Aluko, Mrs Mbora, Mr Anthony Idaye, Dayo Abulude, Mr. Emmanuel Oludukiya before Mrs. Otumala Monica.
For some year after the inception of the sport in the country, the federation existed-passively between 1976 and 1989 when Late. Major J.O. Ojo joined the Federation and helped to organise the first national open air-pistol shooting championships in the country. Subsequently, many male and female shooters, who won laurels for the country in continental – championships were trained as well as states shooting coaches, and competitions – officials. Later come Gen. Lonsdale Oladeji Adeoye 2009 – 2017 as Technical Director.
Shooting is one of the most disciplined of all sports that encourage responsibility, diligence and friendship; hence only men and women who are highly-disciplined are suitable to practice their sport. In the statutes and regulations of the NSF, the lists of unsuitable-personalities are:-
- People with recorded criminal – cases or who has been – sentenced to penal – servitude.
- People with mental – problem or unsound – mind.
- People with uncontrollable – tempers or those subject to police-supervision, bound-over by a recognizance to keep the peace or be of good-behaviour.
- People with doubtful or dubious – characters as well as those without honest – interest of the sport and
- People who are addicted to illegal drug or excessive – consumption of alcohol.
THE NEED FOR THE SHOOTING SPORT– FEDERATION TO BE ADEQUATELY – EQUIPPED
Equipment are the key to success in any important – competition, hence, the sprinter needs running – shoes, a pole-vaulter must have a pole and a shooter must have a rifle, pistol or shot-gun. It is also necessary to have the materials comparable to the ones with other-contestants since having the right-items gives the user that extra-confidence and motivation to perform-optimally. Either the late-arrival of equipment which usually-prevent the adequate competition-preparation or an undesirable-malfunction during the proper-competition due to being-obsolete have many times prevented our shooters from increasing their medal-haul despite reaching the final-stages. The challenges – important is the availability of standard training and competition facilities since it is difficult to become either a rifle or pistol-shooting champion during International competitions without access to the appropriate shooting range for training and the required practice. Nigeria. It is thus a sport with tremendous potentials and if supported and encouraged, could add to Nigeria’s medal table.
INTERNATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP ATTENDED AND ACHIEVEMENT
- 5th All African Games, Cairo, Egypt 1991 (late arrival of equipment)
- 3rd African shooting championship in Bloemfontein, South Africa in 1993: Silver-medal in small bore rifle-shooting and Bronze-medal in Air-Rifle shooting (Male-event)
- 4th African championship, Cairo, Egypt 1995 (complete-breakdown of obsolete – equipment)
- 5th Africa shooting championships in Bloemfontein, South Africa in 1997: Silver-medal in Air- Rifle-shooting (Female-event).
- 15th common wealth games, Victoria, Canada 1994 (obsolete-equipment).
- 6th All African Games, Harare, Zimbabwe 1995 (late – arrival of equipment).
- 7th African championship, Pretoria, South- Africa, 1997. (Complete – breakdown of obsolete equipment).
- 7th African shooting championship in Pretoria, South Africa in 2001: Bronze-medal in Air-Rifle shooting (Male-event).
- 18th Common wealth games, Melbourne, Australia 2006. (Late – arrival of equipment).
- 9th All African Games 2007, Algiers, Algeria, 2007.
- 11th All African Games 2014, Cairo, Egypt 2014 (rented weapon).
- 20th Common Wealth Games, Glasgow, Scotland 2014 (No equipment).
- Training of two of our coaches in Grade ‘C’ International Shooting Sport Federation certified coaching course in Finland in the year 2010. This is the first of its kind.
- Participation in the 45th world Military Shooting Championship in Rio, Brazil 2010-sponsored by DHQ.
- Participation in the 46th world Military Shooting Championship in Rio, Brazil 2011-sponsored by DHQ.
- Inter-service pre-trial (Army, Navy, and Air-force) shooting competition 2010-2011, Abuja.
- Successfully organized workshop/seminar in collaboration with international shooting sport federation (ISSF) and Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) in Asaba, Delta State in 2011, where resource Olympic champions were invited from South-Africa to conduct it.
- Partial Renovation of Abuja Shooting Range in the year 2010 – 2011 by DHQ.
- A two day 1st International seminar/workshop in conjunction with Oraco Noptel Trade Link Ltd in the year 2012, two experts were invited from Finland.
- 11th All African Shooting Championship & Olympic qualification 2014, Cairo, Egypt 2014 (rented weapon)
- 20th common wealth games, Glasgow, Scotland 2014 (No equipment)
- 12th All African Shooting Championship & Olympic qualification 2014, Cairo, Egypt (Inconclusive camp).
- Integrated coaching clinic, Abuja, 2017.
- ISSF Academy D course for coaches Rifle & Pistol, Abuja, 2018.
- Late Major Ojo Shooting championship 2018.
- Media maiden shooting championship, 2018.
- African Youth Games, Algiers 2018.
The challenge militating against the rapid development of the sport at present is that the Shooting Federation has not attained a viable image of this reason; the Federation needs the assistance of all sponsors, corporate bodies and individuals to complement the National Sport efforts in the provision of modern-facilities and equipment for achieving the goal.
Grass-root Development Project
- Under 21 (Airgun, shotgun, Lasseer-run, Skeet & Trap, Double Trap)
- Under 18(Airgun, shotgun, Lasseer-run)
- Under 13 Lasser-Run(Penthalon)
- Introducing Lasser-Run (Pentathlon) – by All
- Shotgun – “Under 21” & Senior
- Double Trap & Skeet – “Under 21” & Senior
- Shooting game (pin-point) – by All
- Government to give tax heaven to sponsors.
- Government to assist in renovating existing infrastructure.
- Government to assist in capacity building of coaches and officials.
- Government at all level should employ coaches and shooters.
- The Federal Government should compel service provider, cooperate bodies to contribute at least 5% of their annual earning for sporting development.
- The Federal Government should save at least 10% of our oil revenue for sport development while, oil companies should be encouraged to run sporting outfit and sponsor competitions.
Face your past without regret. Handle your present with confidence. Prepare for the future without fear.