Olympic Pistol athlete Elena Galiabovitch has been named as one of 14 Victoria Institute of Sport (VIS)  athletes to win 2XU Coach Awards. The awards were announced as part of the 2020 Victorian Institute of Sport Awards presented last night.

The 2XU Coach Awards were presented to an athlete in each VIS sport program who is the most deserving within this calendar year.

This year was also the first time that athletes from the Individual Scholarship Program and the Future Talent Program received a Coach Awards.

“Elena is living the VIS’ motto of “Success in Sport and Life,” said VIS Nicky Frey, Shooting Program Manager.

“She has managed to juggle night shifts as a doctor with training and staying in touch with the performance support team. She is highly self-aware and when she has her mind set on something, she will do It.

“2020 was always going to be a challenging year for Elena. A second Olympics and a chance to be competitive amongst the world’s best was one thing, delaying her medical ambitions to enter a surgical program another,” added Frey.

“Already committing to six months away from her medical career, the postponement of Tokyo threw up another huge hurdle of blowing out that professional hiatus to 18 months.

“With a couple of weeks to process what this meant, Elena embarked on ways to continue training for Tokyo while taking on work that would not only provide income, but keep her learning and progressing in her professional capacity.

“2020 therefore had become a year to continue training and technical development, physical and mental skills training while taking on night duty locums including COVID isolation wards, working in the telehealth area in urology clinics and embarking on a Masters of Surgery.

“Elena has successfully gained a place on a surgical program next year after performing well through the interview process. She has deferred entry until post Tokyo,” said Frey.

Galiabovitch said; “I would like to thank my family, my parents and all of the support staff at the Victorian Institute of Sport. Everyone around me has been really supporting and encouraging and has helped me get to where I want to be especially during this challenging time.

“There is a real feeling of community at the VIS, which I’m really grateful for. Also thank you to 2XU for sponsoring this award.”

Further information; Greg Campbell, PRISM Strategic Communications, Ph: 0418 239 139.

Shooting Australia Tuesday night announced the winners of the 2020 Awards of Excellence.

The four Community Awards categories were:

Volunteer of the Year – Doug Caple

Doug is a life member of the Hornsby RSL Rifle Club. He has held the positions of Club Captain and Club President and is considered a club ‘legend’. Every week Doug is the first to arrive at the range and sets up all the equipment. He then spends the time, before the range is open, completing range maintenance. And in the afternoon, he is there organising the packing up.

He is qualified to administer the Firearms Safety Awareness Testing and he goes above and beyond in ensuring participants are well versed in the safety rules. Doug is the first to volunteer for Range Officer duties be it at a Saturday afternoon club shoot, district shoots, OPMs or PSR.

Club of the Year – Belmont Junior Air Rifle Club

The Belmont Junior Air Rifle Club was formed in 2018 in response to the Queensland Government’s post 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games ‘Embracing 2018’ legacy programme. Coaches obtained TRA Club Coach qualifications with some being invited to further their training under Carrie Quigley.

Some staff also completed the TRA Range Officers course and are progressing with their practical assessments. Enrolments in the first year of operation were 20 juniors, and that number has been reasonably maintained ever since.

The Club has:

  • Promoted the attendance at the Queensland Government ‘Weapons Act Safety    Course’
  • Registered with the Queensland Government under the ‘Fair Play’ scheme, which provides financial support to juniors from low socio-economic situations
  • Participated in the Shooting Australia ‘Come and Try’ programme
  • Participated in the Shooting Australia postal competition this year
  • Participated in the Shooting Australia Junior Training Camp conducted by Carrie Quigley
  • Registered with Duke of Edinburgh as a provider

Recently BJARC coaches conducted a State Junior Camp which led to juniors competing in the State Championships with notable success. 

Official of the Year – Dennis Claxton

Dennis has been involved in Small-Bore and Air Rifle shooting for many years and currently serves as President of the New South Wales Small Bore and Air Rifle Association Inc.

Dennis has a long history of involvement in the sport as an official, officiating at many events from local through to international events such as Oceania Continental Championships, ISSF World Cups and WSPS World Championships in a variety of roles including range officer and jury member. His dedication as an official extends to mentoring aspiring officials.

Coach of the Year – Mike Jarrad

Mike has a passion for the sport and for coaching others to not only become a better athlete, but a better person.

Mike doesn’t coach by the book. He understands every athlete is different and he coaches accordingly, whether by the way he communicates, the way a training session is structured, or noticing when the ‘cookie cutter’ positions don’t work for certain body types.

He uses drills and games no other coach does, he observes things in a way no one else does, and he notices the smallest of things that make the biggest difference.

Mike spent several years coaching wheelchair athletes which has shaped his coaching methods.

One of his greatest success stories is Rifle athlete Elise Collier. Elise came into the sport less than three years ago with very basic knowledge and skills and next year she will be representing Australia at the Tokyo Olympic Games.

Shooting Australia Chief Executive, Luke van Kempen, congratulated all four winners on their Awards saying they are an inspiration to the Shooting community.

“They are very worthy Awards recipient and we applaud the selfless work that has completed at the important grassroots level of our sport over the past 12 months,” said Mr van Kempen.

“Shooting, like all sports, relies on hard-working community volunteers, clubs, coaches and officials and are we are delighted to honour them with these prestigious Awards,” added Mr Van Kempen.

The Awards evening was live streamed via Shooting Australia TV and can be viewed at https://epicentre.tv/live-events/shooting-australia-2020-awards-of-excellence

Further information;

Greg Campbell, PRISM Strategic Communications. Ph: 0418 239 139 E: [email protected]

Shooting Australia’s 2020 Annual General Meeting has elected 2008 Beijing Olympic Games trap competitor, Craig Henwood, to its Board of Directors.

Henwood, who is Vice President and a Life Member of Melbourne Gun Club, replaces retiring Director, Alan Smith.

Shooting Australia President, Ms Cath Fettell, congratulated Henwood on his appointment and paid tribute to Smith.

“Alan has given outstanding service to Shooting as a Rifle athlete at two Olympic Games and at three Commonwealth Games, where he won two gold medals and one silver medal, before being appointed to the Shooting Australia Board in 2012,” said Ms Fettell.

“We welcome Craig and we look forward to his contribution as Shooting Australia continues on a journey of growth and transformation,” added Ms Fettell.

Ms Fettell said Shooting Australia emerged from a challenging 12 months in a strong position.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has played havoc with domestic and international sport, but in the last financial year we managed to successfully stage the World Shooting Para Sport World Championships, the Oceania Shooting Federation Championships and the Olympic Games nomination events prior to any significant impacts from COVID-19,” said Ms Fettell.

“This has allowed the Australian Olympic Committee to select the Shooting team for the Tokyo Olympics to be staged in July and August next year. This has given our athletes selection certainty and will help them best prepare for the Games. We have also achieved two quotas for the Tokyo Paralympics, with two further opportunities to chase ahead of this event scheduled for August – September 2021.”

Shooting Australia Chief Executive, Luke van Kempen, said the organisation finished in a strong position at the end of FY20 despite the challenges encountered from the global pandemic.

“We are well positioned to finish our business in Tokyo 2021 and launch a raft of new initiatives as we head towards Paris in 2024 and beyond,” said Mr van Kempen.

“We are very grateful that Shooting Australia’s High Performance investment has been confirmed by the Australia Institute of Sport for FY21 and FY22 at a consistent level, plus additional Para Shooting funding.

“After a really positive Members Forum held over the weekend, Shooting Australia remains committed to working collaboratively with our Member Organisations to build on our success and enhance the sustainability of target shooting sports in Australia into the future,” he added. 

Further information;

Greg Campbell, PRISM Strategic Communications, Ph: 0418 239 139, E: [email protected]

Shooting Australia has appointed experienced sports administrator Sarah Brady to the newly created position of General Manager, Commercial and Marketing.

Commencing today, Brady will be responsible for expanding Shooting Australia’s revenue streams, delivering events and broadening communication and marketing activity ahead of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games next year.

Brady has vast experience working with sports, clubs, venues and major events and was recently Tournament Experience Manager at the ICC T20 Women’s World Cup where she successfully delivered a record breaking tournament which was recently named Australian Event of the Year.

Brady has also previously held senior marketing and commercial positions with Brisbane Lions and GWS Giants AFL Clubs, Manly-Warringah and South Sydney NRL teams, Etihad Stadium and Paul Sergeant Events.

Shooting Australia Chief Executive, Luke van Kempen, said Brady rose above a large, high quality field of applicants.

“We are delighted Sarah is joining Shooting Australia at a time where we are undergoing an exciting period of commercial transformation,” said Mr van Kempen.

“Shooting Australia has secured the 2024 World Junior Championships with other international events for Australia also on the horizon,” he added.

Brady said she was looking forward to working with staff and athletes at Shooting Australia and establishing and building strong and lasting relationships with stakeholders, partners, contractors and Member Organisations.

“I have a strong passion for working with and growing sports,” said Brady.

“I have spent most of my career finding and creating new audiences and revenue streams for clubs, sports and events. I believe the sport of Shooting has enormous potential as we move closer to next year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games and through to the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Paris and beyond,” she added.

Further information;

Greg Campbell, PRISM Strategic Communications. Ph: 0418 239 139 E: [email protected]

Shooting Australia (SA) will initiate a range of new developments to its High Performance program through to the 2024 Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games following confirmation of funding from the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) for the 2021-22 Financial Year.

Shooting Australia will receive total funding of $2,940,252 for its 2021-22 Olympic and Paralympic program. This is inclusive of an additional $40,000 for its Paralympic program. This funding comes after the AIS committed $2,900,252 for the current Financial Year last July.

Shooting Australia Chief Executive, Luke van Kempen, thanked the AIS for its continued support of SA’s High Performance (HP) program.

“This funding provides certainty for our athletes, coaches and staff and will allow us to finalise the preparation of our Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic teams as well as implement a number of new programs and activities towards Paris,” said Mr van Kempen.

“Shooting is Australia’s seventh most successful Olympic sport of all time and we are confident that the 15-member team we’ve selected for the Tokyo Games next year is capable of building on this success,” he added.

Shooting Australia High Performance Director, Adam Sachs, said that with funding secured for the first two years of the next Olympic cycle, SA could now initiate a range of new developments to its High Performance program.

“Our success in the Tokyo cycle has provided us with the perfect foundations to grow our High Performance program and continue to deliver world class performances through to the 2024 Paris Games and beyond.

“We are planning for a new National Squad structure that will support the development needs of more athletes at different stages of Shooting’s performance pathway,” said Mr Sachs.

“This will include integrating our able-bodied and para-shooting athletes – current and future – into enhanced HP programs for Rifle and Pistol disciplines in particular.

“The funding will also support increased investment in high-quality domestic and international competition that will challenge and support our athletes’ progress towards podium performances at benchmark events,” he said.

“And there will be increased support for the development of HP coaches with the character and skill to lead the development of our athletes, and a continuing commitment to growing our high performance culture – on and off the range – through the development of our people and teams,” he added.

Further information: Greg Campbell, PRISM Strategic Communications. Ph: 0418 239 139 E: [email protected]

Shooting Australia today announced the category nominees for 2020 Awards of Excellence to be held on November 17.

In a Shooting Australia first, the Awards evening, hosted by Jon Harker and Annabelle Williams, will be live streamed via Shooting Australia TV at 7.00pm (AEDST). With national and international competition significantly reduced this year because of COVID-19, the High Performance Awards will not be presented.

Shooting Australia Chief Executive, Luke van Kempen, said, “There just hasn’t been the right threshold of events in the period that warrants the recognition of these High Performance awards. Of the events that were completed, athletes who have excelled have been recognised with a place in the Australian Shooting Team for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games to be held next year.”

The four Community Awards categories and finalists are:

  • Volunteer of the Year: Doug Caple (NRAA), Jeff Bell (ACTA), Graeme Harvey (PA), Sylvia Muehlberg (TRA), Tania Evans (ACTA)
  • Club of the Year; Melbourne Gun Club (ACTA), Belmont Junior Air Rifle Club (TRA), Rocky Gully Sporting Clays (SCA)
  • Official of the Year: Ray Girdlestone and Janelle Rossiter (TRA, joint entry), Dennis Claxton (TRA)
  • Coach of the Year: David Coleman (ACTA), Dina Aspandiyarova (PA), Mike Jarrad (TRA)

Mr van Kempen said the Awards reflect the important role and contribution the Shooting community plays across the country.

“We cannot underestimate the valuable contribution coaches, officials, clubs and volunteers play in our sport. They are the unsung heroes of Shooting and the Awards are about acknowledging the magnificent role they play,” he said.

“Their work has been especially challenging this year following the outbreak of COVID-19 . We recognise that people living in some states and territories haven’t had the same opportunity to take up the roles they normally would at their clubs due to the social distancing restrictions that have been in place.

“However, those clubs that have had the ability to re-boot this year have gone above and beyond the call of duty to provide their members with the opportunity to compete.

“We thank all clubs, officials, coaches and volunteers in our Member Organisation network and look forward to their ongoing work and contribution in the years ahead. Their work has been an inspiration for members of our community,” he added.

Further information;  Greg Campbell, PRISM Strategic Communications. Ph: 0418 239 139

Shooting Australia (SA) has been successful in obtaining a Performance Pathways Solutions Grant (PPSG) from the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) to help develop the next tier of Shotgun event athletes.

The $287,000 grant over two years is the outcome of a significant piece of work undertaken by SA’s High Performance Unit (HPU) and will be used to identify and develop future Australian representative athletes in both Trap and Skeet events.

The grant is separate and in addition to SA’s existing high performance funding from the AIS, which supports the continuing development and performances of current Australian and Olympic representative athletes across Pistol, Rifle and Shotgun disciplines.

SA CEO, Luke van Kempen, said the PPSG funding is recognition of the outstanding international results achieved within the Shotgun discipline in recent years.

“Australia has a proud record in Shotgun events, particularly internationally in men’s and women’s Trap, and this grant will assist us to identify and engage our future Olympic and World Championship athletes,” said Mr van Kempen.

“It’s also important recognition of the work achieved to date by our Shotgun National Program led by National Coach, Richard Sammon,” he added.

“We thank the AIS for this investment and we believe it will assist us develop Shotgun athletes who can follow in the Olympic gold medal winning footsteps of Catherine Skinner, Suzy Balogh, Michael Diamond and Russell Mark.”

Sammon said there is great depth within Shotgun disciplines in Australia and said the grant will help develop this talent for future benchmark events including the Paris 2024 and Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Games and beyond.

“Shooting is a sport where athletes can be highly competitive on the world stage for 10 or 20 years, so this PPSG investment carries long-term benefits for our sport,” said Sammon.

“We plan to identify and foster our next generation of Shotgun athletes and help develop their all-around skills through engagement in training camps and developmental competitions.

“Additionally, we will look to support these future stars by developing a network of coaches and support staff that will assist them throughout their journey,” added Sammon.

Further information; Greg Campbell, PRISM Strategic Communications. Ph: 0418 239 139 E: [email protected]

Tokyo Olympic Games bound rifle athlete, Alex Hoberg, is one of 16 athletes to receive a $2,500 Tier 3 scholarship as part of this year’s Sport Hall of Fame Scholarship & Mentoring program.

The program is supported by Australian Government funding from Sport Australia and the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) and has grown from offering five scholarships since it began in 2006 to offering a total of 32 funded scholarships in 2021.

In April, Hoberg, 19, was selected by the Australian Olympic Committee to contest the 10m Air Rifle at the Tokyo Olympic Games next year following the Olympic nomination series held at the beginning of the year.

Shooting Australia CEO, Luke van Kempen, congratulated Hoberg on his scholarship saying it will assist with his preparation for next year’s Olympic Games.

“Alex is one of our finest rifle athletes and this scholarship is recognition of his continued outstanding performances at an elite level,” said Mr van Kempen.

“Alex represented Australia at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and the 2018 Youth Olympics in Rio and is continuing to develop his international competitiveness. We look forward to seeing him in action at the Tokyo Olympics next year.“This scholarship will compliment Shooting Australia’s investment in Alex and will help assist him with costs associated with performing at the highest level and we thank the Sport Hall of Fame Scholarship & Mentoring program for their support and assistance,” he added.

Further information;

Greg Campbell, PRISM Strategic Communications. Ph: 0418 239 139 E: [email protected]


Shooting Australia will appoint a General Manager, Commercial and Marketing as it seeks to expand its revenue streams and broaden brand and marketing activity ahead of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games next year.

The newly created position will see the successful applicant work closely with Shooting Australia’s Member Organisations, plus key partner groups such as Sport Australia, the Australian Institute of Sport, the Australian Olympic Committee, Paralympics Australia, Commonwealth Games Australia and the International Shooting Sports Federation.

Shooting Australia CEO, Luke van Kempen, said the new role is an exciting development for the sport as its seeks to capitalise on new initiatives and the impact of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.

“We have been fortunate to host both the World Shooting Para Sports and Oceania Championship late last year and complete our Tokyo Olympic Games nomination series earlier this year. And we will also host the World Junior Championships in 2024,” said Mr van Kempen.

“The General Manager, Commercial and Marketing will hold a key senior management position and lead a team of four reports as we strive to be a unifying leader in creating a strong and vibrant target shooting sport community that enables Australian athletes to perform among the best in the world,” he added.

Mr van Kempen said the successful applicant will develop and execute a sales strategy to generate new income streams, maximise commercial opportunities, oversee content generation and prepare an innovative communications strategy.

“Shooting has been one of Australia’s most successful sports at major international competitions for many years, and this role represents a great opportunity for an inventive and dynamic individual to help elevate our sports to new heights,” said Mr van Kempen.

While Shooting Australia’s headquarters is based in Australia, Mr van Kempen said the position is open to candidates who can perform the role while being based outside South Australia.

The position is advertised at Seek and can be viewed at https://www.seek.com.au/job/50604008

Applications close at midnight on Sunday, October 11.


Further information;

Greg Campbell, PRISM Strategic Communications. Ph: 0418 239 139 E: [email protected]


Shooting Australia will pay tribute to Shooting at a community level when it hosts the 2020 Awards of Excellence on Tuesday, November 17.

In a Shooting Australia first, the Awards evening, hosted by Jon Harker and Annabelle Williams, will be live streamed via Shooting Australia TV.

With national and international competition significantly reduced this year because of COVID-19, the High Performance Awards will not be presented.

“Unfortunately, there has not been enough competition in the period for the criteria of our High Performance Awards to be judged,” said Shooting Australia Chief Executive, Luke van Kempen.

“However there has been a sustained level of activity at the club level across Australia and we look forward to judging the four Community Award categories as we normally would at the Awards of Excellence.

“Shooting Australia would also like to acknowledge that community clubs, volunteers, coaches and officials have overcome significant challenges in maintaining opportunities for participants to compete during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said van Kempen.

“So, we have created the Community Acknowledgement categories this year to pay tribute to the inspiring work that continues at the grassroots level,” he added.

Award nominations cover the period of November 2019 and October 2020.

Four Community Awards will be presented. They are:

  • Club of the Year
  • Volunteer of the Year
  • Coach of the Year
  • Official of the Year

More information on Community Awards

Additionally, Shooting Australia will acknowledge other activities that have taken place between November 2019 and October 2020.

The six Community Acknowledgement categories are:

  • Officials in Training
  • Club Improvements
  • Most Adaptive Club
  • Shooting Community Initiative
  • Inclusivity Initiative
  • Most Memorable Moment

More information on Community Acknowledgement


Nominations for the Community Awards are now open

Submission for Community Acknowledgement is now open

Submissions close at 5pm  Friday 16 October, 2020.


Further information;

Greg Campbell

PRISM Strategic Communications

Ph: 0418 239 139

E: [email protected]