Our club continues to be very popular with many people making inquiries about us. Although most of these people end up attending our Intro Days, and 50% join the club, we do find that after the initial flurry of excitement, some of them never return. This is not a big problem as every Intro Day is fully booked and the club continues to gain memberships. Despite this, the PPLA will never sacrifice quality for quantity.
Once again, our club competitions continue to average over 125 people each month, and the Steel Matches are growing rapidly also. With our comps being so popular, we have taken to running them over two days, which is proving to be a great compromise. We get a great turn out of up to 30 people to shoot the match and build the stages. Those members who attend also tell us it is a great idea as several them must work on Sundays or have other commitments which makes it difficult to maintain their attendances. This means that it is a win-win situation for members and the club. We hosted the Rifle/Shotgun National Championships this year. The number of competitors was much better than expected and as a result of the higher number of locals who attended, the club will look at trying to fit in more rifle and shotgun matches during 2020. With the new method of running our club comps, we have also instituted that the squad who shoots last on stages 1-3 also pulldown and put away the stage props and equipment. It is pleasing to see that this is happening, well done to both members and visitors who help with this. It is also important that props and other equipment are put away properly. The last thing we need is for a member or visitor to be injured by a falling prop in our containers, so spending a few additional minutes when putting things away would be a great help. As always, a RO and/or Committee member is expected to be involved with making sure everything is done safely and correctly. I thank those members who turn out each comp for setups for their continued regular assistance with each monthly comp. Without you there will be no comps. We are hosting the first of the State Selection Matches on the 16-18 August and work is well underway to build this Level 3 competition. At the time of writing we have more than 160 entries and expect more to arrive prior to the match starting. The number of members involved in the construction of the stages so far is very good, however it would be nice to see a few others. Renewals this year saw a greater than usual number of members not renewing their membership. Once again, a prime reason for this was the SSAA policy of not allowing people to shoot on their own. I have already had discussions with the SSAA on this matter and I am hopeful of a change in policy within the next few months. Unfortunately, shooting alone will not become the norm and despite repeated discussions with the SSAA, the best we can hope for is the removal of the RO requirement. Other reasons for not renewing were moving interstate, changing clubs, dropping their associate membership or just getting out of the sport. This year I have several ideas that I would like to put up to improve our facilities and the surrounds of the clubhouse. These will include additional concrete walkways around the clubhouse, resurfacing of the range floors and increasing the heights of the berms to allow a wider angle of shooting directions. Preliminary discussions with the LRD have proven to be fruitful. Further discussions once again with the SSAA will also be required.
We are also working on improving our Wi-Fi system up to the top ranges and further, to ensure that any scoring by tablets from there will be functional. So far when scoring club competitions using PractiScore has proven to be a great way to run our comps. Using the IPSC ESS method has had many difficulties and at the time of writing this has not yet been released to the clubs. PractiScore is a TOTAL match management system and at this point the ESS is nothing but an electronic score sheet that still requires much preparation and post-match work in WinMSS to get scores out. Many of the other clubs around the country say that PractiScore is far superior and we should be allowed to use it at ALL matches. I intend putting such a request to the next IPSC Australia AGM in a few months.
I am hopeful that our club can continue with its considerable growth in IPSC and we continue to be the MAJOR IPSC Club in the country. This will only be possible if all members support the club in all of its endeavours. It is the members who make the club!!!
I want to also thank Mustafa Aksu for the amazing amount of work he put into the club in the many years that he was a member. Mustafa recently moved to live in Cyprus and will be missed by all our club members. He changed our kitchen from being basic to a great food service and introduced many changes to our base menu. He has passed the baton on to Dale, Phil and Jim. I know that these three guys will continue with what Mustafa started. A club stalwart and founding member also moved interstate this year. Greg Moon moved to Brisbane to live after his retirement. Greg had a massive influence on the running of the club and will also be missed. His valuable assistance to me and as a club major sponsor in many ways was greatly appreciated.
I also want to say a BIG thank you to Chris and Jared Capadouca and John Moss for their amazing contribution to the running of the club. Numerous other members also work hard for our club at many levels and without everyone putting in, the club would not be as good as it is. We have so many people volunteering their services in so many ways, we rarely must go outside of the club to get any expertise for the various jobs needing done. I thank the current Committee for its amazing contribution too, so many amazing people giving up their time for the good of the club.
Finally, I want to say thank you my loving wife, Julie. She puts up with my so many absences on club business and does not complain. She may be on the Committee, but I attend so many meetings on club business and at the ranges, it can sometimes be difficult. Thank you so much for being so patient and understanding.
Thank you all for your support.