In Australia you have to be 18 years or older to obtain your firearm licence, but if you are between the ages of 12-17 you can obtain a minor permit if you wish to compete in firearm competitions.
Which is exactly what La Salle students Noah Green and Harrison Reid did, and he's never looked back.
In January of this year, the students attended the annual NSW Amateur Pistol Association Junior Camp where they were both selected in the NSW Tri State team.
"It was a massive surprise and is a huge honour to represent NSW," Noah said.
Harrison had attended before, but this was Noah's first time going to the camp which is designed to teach brand new pistol shooters through to those who have had experience and competitions under their belts.
"I would consider both the boy's "new" shooters, but soon found out that they show a lot of potential," Junior coaching director Allison Doyle said.
"Over the week of camp their dedication, respect and enthusiasm stood out and paid off with their results showing on their targets with each days practise."
30 juniors attended the camp this year from Pistol Clubs all over NSW. From those 30 Allison had the job of selecting a team to represent NSW in the Tri State team.
"Harrison and Noah were just two of the juniors given this opportunity and who would have known that they would come from the same school," she said.
The Tri State is a competition that has been running annually for 37 years between the juniors of NSW, VIC and SA. Where juniors with different ranges of experience come together to compete and share knowledge in a fun and professional environment under full competition rules.
"Being apart of this team gives them the experience of higher level competitions, learning how to travel with their firearms, represent their state, mix with shooters from other states, just to name a few," she said.
"Once we have settled on the team members, just before the actual event we hold what is known as the 'RaRa Camp'.
"This is a weekend get together for team bonding, information and training in preparation for the Tri State."
This year Tri State is being hosted by New South Wales, so the team members along with Allison and crew will man the event at Sydney Pistol Club.
Noah started shooting in September 2020 after going pistol shooting with a family member.
"I was asked to go along and I took great interest in the sport, so I got a coach and haven't looked back," he said.
"I had never done pistol shooting before, I had only done some rifle shooting with bottles out on a farm."
Noah is now part of the Blue Mountains Pistol Club under coach Danielle Donahue.
"It was really daunting at first but it's a really interesting sport and I've really improved," he said.
Noah did his first competition in September and walked away with second place.
"I wasn't expecting it for my first competition, and the weather was hot and cold, but it was a good camp," he said.
Noah went to the NSW ISSF State Titles in Wagga Wagga this year in January where he won the Junior 10m Air Pistol against all the Juniors in NSW.
"This is definitely something I wasn't expecting since I had only been shooting three months," he said.
At the Junior Camp, Noah said he learnt a lot from the experience, especially how to deal with his gun.
"There is a lot to it, your breathing, lifting, the weather, your weapon and the targets, a lot of people thing it is just point and shoot but there is a lot to consider," he said.
Noah said it was all about getting 'good groupings'.
"You want good groupings but you have to deal with the weather and sun moving which means changing sights," he said.
"You have to get used to the sights, sounds, your glasses, the patches and shooting with both eyes open so your eyes don't strain."
Noah said he did shooting more for the enjoyment rather than the points.
"Then I focus on what I am doing wrong and how I can fix it and do better next time," he said.
"The front sight is the main trick, without it you won't get good groups, so you should always look at your front sight rather then the targets."
When executing the shot, Noah said it was important not to jerk the trigger, and to make sure you have good grip.
"There is a six second period where you are more likely to get the best shot, after that your arm starts to get heavy," he said.
Harrison said while the sport can be daunting, he wanted to encourage people to give it a go.
"I want to thank my coach for all the effort she has put in to help me, as well as her husband and state coaches David Banks and Allison Doyle," he said.
"Also a big thank you to my Mum, Dad and sisters for their support and for getting enjoyment out of watching me progress."
Harrison and Noah will be competing in Tri-State on Saturday and Sunday, June 12 and 13 before Noah attends at the Australian Pistol Camp in Canberra in July.
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