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Club sets sights on second century

PUBLISHED: 13:28 16 August 2001 | UPDATED: 10:26 03 March 2010

GUN enthusiasts at Felixstowe are on target for a healthy future after celebrating a century of shooting with a milestone match to mark their special anniversary.

GUN enthusiasts at Felixstowe are on target for a healthy future after celebrating a century of shooting with a milestone match to mark their special anniversary.

It is 100 years since the Felixstowe Rifle Club was formed and the group is still going strong – and looking to expand again as it embarks on its second century.

It received "best wishes for a happy and successful occasion" from the Queen on its centenary and the National Small Bore Rifle Association presented the club with a plaque to mark the event.

The Centenary Shoot was held at the club's headquarters and range in Walton High Street with competitors taking part in three main disciplines – .177 air pistol, .22 target rifle, and carbine/sporting rifle – with a unique handicap system devised to make the afternoon more fun.

The handicapping involved competitors estimating beforehand what they would score and being awarded points under or over their score by how many they were out on their calculations.

Overall winner of the event was John Green, who was presented with the Centenary Plaque, which it is hoped will be competed for annually, by club president William Bond.

Chairman John Humphries said: "It was an excellent afternoon and a lovely way to mark 100 years of shooting in Felixstowe. The club is thriving and we have plans for the future to keep it growing."

The club's main project to mark its centenary is to provide a new shooting range which will includes facilities for the blind.

The £16,000 indoor range will include hi tech equipment that allows the partially-sighted to fire on target by translating the position of lasers in the electronic sights into sound to enable a shooter who cannot see to know where the weapon is pointed.

When on target the sight makes a certain noise and if the gun holder veers off target it makes a different sound.

The club is convinced there is a real need for the facilities and says that since blind shooters were able to take part in the Paralympics the sport has taken off fast. Some keen partially-sighted shooters in the area are travelling to Cambridge for their sport because there is no range closer to home.

The club, which teaches youngsters to shoot safely and responsibly, was one of the founders of the resort's German twin link with Wesel.

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