Club of the Month: Okehampton Smallbore Club

Okehampton Smallbore Club is more than 100 years old, and as club secretary Di Johnson explains, it’s still as busy as ever.

Started by the Territorial Force (the forerunner of the Territorial Army) during the First World War, Okehampton Smallbore Club was founded circa 1915 and operated in the local drill hall – now the Okehampton Conservative Club. We had two previous homes before moving to our current purpose-built ranges in 1976.

The club building has three ranges available: two of 25 yards, with five firing points for prone and lightweight sporting rifle and benchrest, plus a dedicated 10m air range, with eight firing points complete with electronic target carriers. We have facilities for the visually impaired, and club members compete in, and have won, the National Blind and Visually Impaired Championships.

At the moment we have almost 50 members aged 14 and up, shooting many disciplines. The club also puts on a number of guest days during the year for local organisations such as the Scouts and Round Table. New members are assisted by experienced members and we employ qualified club coaches to ensure their further progression.

Over its hundred-year history the club has had many members who have represented the county and a few who have had International honours. I guess our biggest success was being the home club of Olympian and double Commonwealth medal-winner Gorgs Geikie.

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