Australia’s SAMPSON right at home at Belmont

BRISBANE – For Australian crack shot Dane SAMPSON, the shooting venue for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games feels very much like home.

Having spent most of his life in Brisbane, SAMPSON trained almost daily at Belmont Shooting Centre until he was invited to join the high-performance training squad in Adelaide several years ago.

He returned to Belmont for the Commonwealth Shooting Championships last November, winning the men’s 50m rifle prone and taking bronze in the men’s 50m rifle 3 positions at the GC2018 test event.

“It’s almost like having all the people from overseas come to my house, because this is what this place feels like. I grew up here, and some of my earliest memories are from here,” SAMPSON said.

“It’s cool to have the Commonwealth Games here. It’s like we are having a big BBQ, and everyone is coming along.”

SAMPSON has another reason to feel at home on this range.

His father Rod is working as a Chief Range Officer at the rifle range at Belmont while his mother, Robyn, is a technical official, helping with results and scoring. Also on staff is aunt, Anne BUDGEN, a two-time Oceania champion in the rifle event.

Both parents were keen shooters, particularly Robyn, who represented Australia.

While SAMPSON competed in Glasgow 2014 and at two Olympic Games (London 2012 and Rio 2016), his parents have never watched him on the ground at a major international event – and plan to steer clear at GC2018.

“He is just another shooter,” Rod said. “I do get a little ticklish feeling, but when I am not working, yes, I am very proud of him.”

Robyn agreed: “I will stay out of his way once again. I cannot be his mum on the range. I’ll actually go to my boss and say ‘if possible, can I be somewhere else while Dane is shooting?'”

SAMPSON has entered the 10m air rifle, 50m rifle prone and 50m rifle 3 positions at GC2018.

Commonwealth Games News Service

Shooting Australia