23 May 2016
Come August this year South Australian teenager Jack Rossiter will swap a cold Adelaide winter for the warmth and wonder of Rio de Janeiro – and his first-ever Olympic Games.
After a period of rapid development as a target rifle athlete, 18-year-old Jack’s dream of a spot at Rio was confirmed last month with the announcement of the Australian Olympic shooting squad. He’ll compete in the men’s 10m Air Rifle event.
“I knew it was a big deal, so I was full of excitement,” Jack says.
“It’s been a goal of mine to make the Olympic team for a few years now and I knew if I trained hard I should be able to make Rio and I have!”
Jack got involved in shooting after spotting a ‘come and try’ flyer at a Christmas pageant in 2010. Soon he was a member of Reynella’s junior club, where his talent and potential quickly became obvious. Coach and former Olympian, Carrie Quigley, took Jack under her wing with weekly training sessions helping hone and develop Jack’s skills and technique. Jack's winning performances in Australia Cup competitions soon brought him to the attention of Shooting Australia's High Performance Coach, Petr Kurka, who quickly included Jack in the National Squad and now manages his daily training program.
The South Australian Sports Institute (SASI) has also supported Jack with an individual athlete High Performance scholarship. SASI also run a strength and conditioning program which will ensure that Jack can stand for long periods with a 5.5kg rifle pressed into his shoulder.
ORS: nurturing target rifle talent
But Jack Rossiter is not the only young South Australian shooting talent. Others showing immense promise include 17-year-old Emma Adams, and Jack’s younger sister, 14-year-old Tori Rossiter. Emma has already competed in one Commonwealth Games, and both she and Tori have their sights set on potentially being teammates at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.
Apart from this talented trio, the next level of junior shooting talent will soon be supported by a new initiative, the Target Rifle SA State Development Pathway Program. The program, an initiative of Target Rifle SA and supported by the Office for Recreation and Sport, is aimed at identifying and developing junior athletes for future Olympic and Commonwealth Games events. This program will have a long-term athlete development focus, helping juniors enjoy their sport, stay healthy and cope with the pressures of elite competition. There is also a strong focus on identifying, supporting and developing current and future coaches at the local club level.
At the State range based in Wingfield, Target Rifle SA has the very latest in target system technology, part-funded by ORS out of its Community Recreation and Sports Facility Program. The Meyton system’s instant feedback allows shooters to fine-tune their skills and attracts shooters from around Australia to train and compete at the Wingfield range.
‘Come and watch’
If you want to see top-level shooters in action, the Shooting Australia Rifle Grand Prix is on at Wingfield from July 7-10. See the Shooting Australia website for further details, www.shootingaustralia.org
You might just be inspired!
If you are interested in having a go at a come ‘n’ try session, for more info visit Target Rifle SA’s website, www.targetriflesa.com
PS: ORS wishes Jack Rossiter (and his fellow SA shooting Olympians) all the best at Rio!