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Ngao: Future of shooting in Kenya is bright

SPORTS By Robin Toskin | April 15th 2019
Members of Kenya's International Defence Pistol Association (IDPA) shooting team trains at Kirigiti Public Shooting Range in Kiambu County during a weeklong training that ended on Saturday April 13, 2019. [Robin Toskin/Standard]

Kenya’s IDPA shooting team is confident of a good showing at the Southern Nationals Championship later this month after a 10-day intensive training conductor by South African instructor Ian Van Der Bank.

Speaking at Kirigiti Public Shooting Range in Kiambu County, National Gun Owners Association (Ngao) chairman Anthony Wahome and Secretary General Sammy Onyango said the future of the sport in Kenya is very bright.

“The first obstacle is a lack of understanding of this sport because guns and live ammunition are our tools of trade, but this is changing,” Wahome told Standard Sports over the weekend.

“We have seen a rise in interest in the sport and what is encouraging is that every participant turning up at Kirigiti Shooting Range is properly vetted and licensed to carry guns — the records of which are with the Firearms Licensing Board,” Wahome said adding that the future of the sport is very bright.

Onyango, also a director of Triple Tap Range, said that certification 26 Kenyans as IDPA Safety Officers was a major step in efforts to grow the sport in Kenya.

“One of the milestones of this training and testing is that we now have in Kenya 26 IDPA Safety Officers, two of whom are women,” Onyango said.

He added: “Besides that, we have had a chance to polish on our weak points. Where wee used to get it wrong on hard entry into positions or soft exit into positions, we have now come to undersand that this is just a sport and we have to enjoy it while taking into safety considerations.”

The training saw 150 shooters divided in 10 groups take part in the exercise — a development Onyango said bodes well for the sport in Kenya.

“We saw the novices, the sharpshooters and experts all coming up very strong. Watch us, we are going to South Africa for the Southern Nationals on April 27-28. We are going to fly our flag high and later in October the World Championships in Alabama USA.”

“The Standard Group has been very supportive in educating Kenyans on what IDPA shooting is. We don’t take it for granted,” Onyango said.

Members of Kenya's International Defence Pistol Association (IDPA) shooting team pose for a photo at the Kirigiti Public Shooting Range in Kiambu County.

Expert shooter Mohammed Omar said the greatest challenge was to demystify the sport.

“It is one of those safe sports provided all safety precautions are followed. We need to disabuse ourselves the notion that it is a dangerous sport. And with the coming of Ian Van Der Bank, we have really learnt a lot starting with the fundamentals of shooting.

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