Something Needs to be Done

We want to hear what your club is doing to bring in new members. Tell us what works, and give credit to those who are making the effort.

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AlanF
Posts: 6973
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2005 8:22 pm
Location: Maffra, Vic

Something Needs to be Done

#1 Postby AlanF » Fri Jan 04, 2013 9:44 pm

I am genuinely worried that full bore shooting (and I include F-Class in that) in Australia is dying. Everywhere there is evidence of reduced membership numbers and event attendances, mainly in TR, but also in overall numbers i.e. growing F-Class numbers are not generally offsetting falling TR numbers. If the State Associations published the numbers I think it would make alarming reading.

So what are we going to do about it? (notice that I said "we" - I don't want to turn this into another NRAA bashing exercise). Are we content to just stand by and let it die? I see a few people in the sport who don't seem to care - the "it'll see me out" attitude. I'd be quite ashamed to be thinking like that. If we leave the sport in worse shape than when we entered it, then its not something to be proud of.

I hear some excuses about why things are going downhill e.g. stricter gun laws, range tenure problems, kids aren't tough enough, F-Class has buggered it :lol: etc. etc. But look at the SSAA! They're going ahead in leaps and bounds, despite being far worse off than us in terms of range availability.

Well I'll tell you what I think should be done. We need to bring in a consultant! Don't laugh - I'm serious. Someone with extensive sports administration experience, but importantly, no experience with full bore shooting. We need someone to take a fresh look at the whole thing, including the governing structures, from the outside, without any pre-conceived ideas and biases. Let's face it, we as shooters have had a lot of years to turn things around, but they've just kept getting worse - its time to admit that we don't have the answers, and should bring in an expert.

Alan
Last edited by AlanF on Fri Jan 04, 2013 10:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Eddy
Posts: 27
Joined: Sun Dec 30, 2012 8:23 am
Location: Waikerie; SA

#2 Postby Eddy » Fri Jan 04, 2013 10:00 pm

We looked at this in both of the clubs (TR) in which I've been involved, and one overwhelming issue stood out ... clashes with football!
Anything which takes place during football is strictly verboten in modern Australian society.
So we changed to Sunday arvo shoots and numbers climbed, doubled the size of the club in 12 - 18 months ... but then football followed ...
I'm pretty sure FClass has kept the Waikerie club alive at least.

OuttaAmmo
Posts: 201
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2012 7:52 am
Location: Darwin

#3 Postby OuttaAmmo » Fri Jan 04, 2013 10:04 pm

You're probably right.
FWIW, I was a SSAA member before an NRAA member. I shot(plinked?) at the SSAA range before I joined F Open. I still use the SSAA range a lot, due to the convenient benches, shade, 500m range(I can shoot 50-500 in consecutive shots) for load testing and that sort of thing. I'm probably lucky the two ranges are next door to each other.
Anyway, my point is, when I see others "plinking" at the SSAA range with their often expensive rifles(a lot in 308), I say to them they should give f class a go. I think a lot of people would enjoy it, they are just afraid of giving it a go.

Seddo
Posts: 526
Joined: Sun Sep 21, 2008 5:56 pm
Location: Latrobe Valley

#4 Postby Seddo » Fri Jan 04, 2013 10:25 pm

There have been negative stories told on shooting forums about young blokes going to a range to have a go and the old faithful giving them a hard time because they have a DIFFERENT looking rilfe or dont want to use iron sights, etc, etc. I cant speak for all of the people making those posts (one is a mate in sydney and i believe him) as they could have been complete idiots but if they put that out on a forum people will believe them, right or wrong. The inability to change and/or rude club officials who seem to know everything is something i have seen first hand at pistol clubs. It can make existing members disenchanted and can push potential members away.

I am not saying that this is the problem, its just what i have read on some forums and been told by 1 or 2 people.
----------------------
Seddo

Moe City Rifle Club

OuttaAmmo
Posts: 201
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2012 7:52 am
Location: Darwin

#5 Postby OuttaAmmo » Fri Jan 04, 2013 10:37 pm

True. If someone turns up with a TACTICAL rifle, give them an Aussie fair go. If they shoot well, what more could they want? If found lacking, what harm is done? It's meant to be fun!

Quick
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Location: Yanchep, Western Australia
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#6 Postby Quick » Sat Jan 05, 2013 6:51 am

I agree Casey, I have one of those "Tactical" style rifles in 308 and I got a few weird looks when I first turned up, but tthen I shot well and its all good :)

I have a mate who said to me has chatting with a 'smith one day and my mate asked him if he would fit his next barrel, the bloke said no as his rifle was a tactical style rifle and he didnt want to see if there on the mound.

That may not be 100% word for word but that to me is concerning aswell.

Im 22yrs old. I try to bring as many of my mates shooting as I can and they guys at my club are pretty good about it. I was a member of another club back when I shot TR and when I asked if I could shoot a scoped rifle, I was told no, that I would have to goto swanbourne to use it. Thats the sorta thing that helps clubs die I think. We gotta be encouraging everyone!!!!
Shaun aka 'Quick'
Yanchep, Western Australia

308 Win F/TR & F-S
7mm F-Open Shooter.

Eddy
Posts: 27
Joined: Sun Dec 30, 2012 8:23 am
Location: Waikerie; SA

#7 Postby Eddy » Sat Jan 05, 2013 7:07 am

Quick wrote: I asked if I could shoot a scoped rifle, I was told no,!
i cured our old "fuddy duddies" of that attitude fairly quick. Although i was also interested in the open sighted jiggers, once i joined and had been a member for a couple months, I just brought along the scoped rifle any way. before too long most wanted to have a shot after the actual day's event was over.
"course I was also prepared to put in some blood and sweat on range maintenance ass well. Some young blokes wouldn't know a shovel or rake if ya hit'em over the head with it. in that sense the old geezers have earnt the right to have a bit of a say in what happens on their range, they've dropped a lot of their own sweat in it over the last century.

Bear in mind also that under the early system the ranges were basically military facilities, and shooting anything other than the military calibres was against the law, not only club rules etc.
Many people simply haven't moved on from that. :roll:
In fact I would not be surprised to find that some clubs have not updated their constitutions and by-laws etc, and F Class may still be against their rules. :lol:

Lynn Otto
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Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2005 2:56 pm
Location: SA

#8 Postby Lynn Otto » Sat Jan 05, 2013 8:38 am

Getting back to Alan's original post, I agree that an outside fresh look at the sport from top to bottom would be a positive move, however I see several stumbling blocks with the execution of the idea.

Without wanting to sound negative these are some of the problems I foresee:
1. Consultants are very expensive how would such an exercise be funded.

2. Who would set the parameters of the consultation,ie if they only get to talk to those within the NRAA they will not have the entire picture. If they are to travel to consult with state associations/clubs/members the cost spirals rapidly.

3. How would you find a consultant who while not having any preconceived views on how the sport should operate, also have no preconceived ides on firearms. How would you know if they in fact want the sport to grow.

4. How would you guarantee that the feedback and therefore the cost of the exercise is effectively utilised. If they say that our governing structure needs to change, how would that be implemented, existing hierarchy are not likely to agree to having themselves replaced. Since our structure is that of a company not a member based association there will be legal obstacles to any change.

It would be a positive step to do this but I would like some of these points answered before we bankrupt our sport for no positive gain. How often have the government done these consultancy exercises to simply throw the report into the too hard basket, never to see the light of day, let alone have any of it implemented.

Eddy
Posts: 27
Joined: Sun Dec 30, 2012 8:23 am
Location: Waikerie; SA

#9 Postby Eddy » Sat Jan 05, 2013 9:39 am

Should be able to get a gummint grant for consultancy ... gummints LLLUURVE consultants ....

As for finding a consultant with no preconceived idea ... don't tell'em what they's consulting on in the initial stages of appointing ... only tell them what they're doing once they been quizzed on their personal views on a variety of stuff ... fishing, motor sport football,tennis etc etc

Seddo
Posts: 526
Joined: Sun Sep 21, 2008 5:56 pm
Location: Latrobe Valley

#10 Postby Seddo » Sat Jan 05, 2013 3:46 pm

I dont think we need to pay for a consultant straight away. The answers to our questions can be foudn with out members.

How about we get the state bodies or NRAA to draft a questionaire and get NEW members to complete it. I dont know what sort of smalple size we are after but limit it to people under 30 or 40 years who have joined in the last 1 or 2 years.

Take me for example, i am 38 with 2 kids under 6 years. For most of the last 2 years my kids have had swiming lessons on saturday mornings which made getting to the range for a 1pm start a challenge, thats when i was able to go. I dont work saturdays but others do.

We can ask them what made them join a club, their negative and posative experiences since they have joined and if they think anythign coudl have been done to make it easier. This is only a few questions but i am sure it wont be too hard to draft up somethign that will give up some good data to see what needs to be done.
----------------------

Seddo



Moe City Rifle Club

Barry Davies
Posts: 1258
Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2010 12:11 pm

#11 Postby Barry Davies » Sat Jan 05, 2013 4:27 pm

The ones you should be asking are those who have up and left for no apparent reason as well as the potential new members who come for a couple of weeks or so and are not sighted thereafter.
Barry

Triplejim
Posts: 532
Joined: Mon Nov 14, 2005 12:48 pm

Something Needs to be Done

#12 Postby Triplejim » Sat Jan 05, 2013 5:47 pm

AlanF wrote:I am genuinely worried that full bore shooting (and I include F-Class in that) in Australia is dying.

My observations are:
1) football, cricket, netball and many other sports are seasonal yet full bore shoots all year round without a break.
2) people join sporting groups for the social interaction but full bore is predominantly male attendees over 40yo.
3) the facilities at golf, bowls, football and swimming are often a better standard than your local rifle range.

In the UK, shooting is an integral part of many schools and nearly all members of last years GB Kolapore team started their shooting career at school.
James

Norm
Posts: 837
Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2010 10:21 pm
Location: Gippsland, Victoria

#13 Postby Norm » Sat Jan 05, 2013 6:59 pm

The forces of population dynamics control the future of everything we do in society.
Look at the facts.
Target type rifles make up a small percentage of the total rifle numbers in Australia. The SSAA has a lot of rifle ranges but not enough to fully cater for their growing numbers of sporting shooters.
NRAA ranges are more numerous but shooter numbers are low and dwindling.
Access to shooting on private property is becoming more difficult with each year as land development and population growth encroach upon suitable areas.

The solution is obvious to all those with an open mind and are prepared to embrace change. Those clubs that do embrace change will thrive, those that don’t will become part of the passing parade and fade into history.

An example of this process is the Buchan Range in Victoria. People lost interest in Full Bore shooting for what ever reason. The range then shut down and its license was lost. At the same time, sporting rifle sales in the area were booming. The local SSAA saw the potential for the range and have sought to have the range reopened under their banner for the benefit of the numerous local sporting shooters. Now if this range had catered for both Full Bore shooting and some form of Sporting rifle shooting, then the range may have never closed in the first place. Then cross pollination from one discipline of shooting to the other may have actually seen TR shooting continue in the area?

DannyS
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Location: Hamilton
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#14 Postby DannyS » Sat Jan 05, 2013 7:31 pm

Hamilton Rifle Club is affiliated with the SSAA, we are also VRA members. Some of our members are members of one or the other state assoctiation, others are members of both.

We welcome shooters using hunting rifles, target rifles and f class rifles. Its all about having a go.

AlanF
Posts: 6973
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2005 8:22 pm
Location: Maffra, Vic

#15 Postby AlanF » Sat Jan 05, 2013 9:37 pm

Wow. I've been at the range most of the day. Good to see all the responses. It means there are plenty of others who are as concerned as I am.

As I see it, the first thing that needs to be done is for everyone (across all levels of the full bore community) to agree that there is a real problem, and that we want something done about it, and we're prepared to accept major changes to achieve it. I'm wondering about a coordinated Australia-wide campaign from as many shooters as possible to every State/Territory Association, requesting urgent cooperative action.

Is this a realistic possibility, or am I in dreamland?

Alan


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