World Cup champion athletes Penny Smith and James Willett shared their sport shooting experiences and Tokyo Olympic Games preparation program at Parliament House to launch the Parliamentary Friends of Shooting group in the 46th Parliament this week.
Penny Smith, James Willett and Australia’s High Performance Director/Shooting Team Manager to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics Adam Sachs, were special guests for the event hosted by co-chairs, Nationals Senator for Victoria Bridget McKenzie and Labor Member for McEwen Rob Mitchell, and the Shooting Industry Foundation of Australia at Parliament House on Wednesday, October 23.
“You can’t let the bigger picture get in the way of what you have to focus on in the short term, that is one target at a time and getting the job done, and not focusing on Tokyo,” Ms Smith said of representing Australia at the Tokyo Olympics.
Mr Willett spoke about training full-time on his family farm in the Yarrawonga-Mulwala district, and was asked about his nerves at the 2019 Shotgun World Cup in Mexico where he shot a World Record equalling perfect 125 targets on his way to winning Gold.
“It all comes down to going back to what you normally do in your process … trying not to miss that last shot goes through your mind,” he told the group.
Qualifications for the Australian Olympic team will be held early next year.
“The group’s role is to help promote sport shooting as a legitimate, lawful sport requiring intense concentration, steady nerves and absolute precision,” Senator McKenzie said.
“Australia loves the sport when we’re winning medals on the international stage, doing Australia proud. International shooting is hotly competitive and our female shot gunners in particular are absolutely on fire, the path to Tokyo is going to be tight.
“We should feel proud of our sport and be proud of our sports men and women all year around.”
Mr Mitchell acknowledged the commitment our shooters made to their chosen sports.
“It was great to see our fellow Parliamentarians join us to welcome our ISSF World Cup Champions James Willett and Penny Smith, who provided great insights into the opportunities trap has given them,” Mr Mitchell said.
“I wish them every success as they pursue their Olympic dreams for Tokyo 2020.
“It is absolutely vital for the Parliament to better understand the life and experiences of our rural and regional communities and events like these are a fantastic opportunity to gain that insight.”
The Parliamentary Friends group will continue to be an apolitical organisation that connects like-minded individuals who have an interest in recreational shooting.
The Parliamentary Friends of Shooting group will promote, and coordinate events to promote, responsible shooting and hunting sports, both competitive and recreational, for Members and Senators.
The next event on the Parliamentary Friends of Shooting calendar is the very popular annual PFoS Christmas Shoot in late November, hosted by the Australian Clay Target Association.
The original media release is linked here.