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Aiming high . . . Martin Quigley with some of his haul of trophies. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

By ROBYN BRISTOW

17-year-old Hurunui smallbore rifle shooter is right on target for higher honours.

Martin Quigley, who has been shooting since 2017, last season secured five championship wins, including a national title, two second places, a third and a fourth in competitions.

The Hurunui College student is a member of the Hawarden Waikari Miniature Rifle Club and the Amberley Smallbore Rifle Club, enabling him to shoot for both the North Canterbury Association and the Ashley Association, competes in nine Target Shooting New Zealand (TSNZ) competitions, which are held most weekends over the winter months.

Martin’s interest in smallbore rifle shooting stems from his parents who run the Hawarden-Waikari Club.

“I just went along, and started shooting and really enjoyed it,” he says.

He heads off down to the range at least one night a week and shoots two cards, 13 shots per card, for a score out of 100.10.

However, if he is in the middle of a heavy competition schedule he will shoot up to 10 cards a week. “My highest score is 100.9. I nearly got 100.10 best

His success last season included winning the New Zealand B grade TSNZ title at the national championships, while his performance throughout the season saw him selected for the South Island Smallbore Rifle Shooting team in the open, men’s and junior sections.

Shooters are selected based on their championship scores shot between April and June each year.

While Martin gained a place in three of the teams, Covid-19 prevented him from lining up with his peers to shoot against the North Island, forcing the shoot to postponed until next month.

His achievements leading up to his selection include gaining a first place at Ashley and Canterbury Association competition shoots, and firsts at the Coronation Championships, the Ellesmere Association and National championship.

Martin was also second at the Phoenix Target Shooting Club competition, and the Ashburton Association’s competition. He was placed third at the South Island association competition, and fourth at a North Canterbury Association shoot.

Martin regularly shoots at the Amberley Smallbore Rifle Club, but still has a close affiliation with the Hawarden-Waikari Club.

He has taken up a coaching role, to help more young shooters to see if the sport is for them, and to help them gain the skills to compete regularly.

Martin says there are plenty of top grade shooters in North Canterbury who have given him advice and encouragement to keep striving for top results which he hopes will lead to national selection.