29 July 2014
Five South Australians are among the 29-strong Australian Commonwealth Games Shooting Team at Glasgow this week: David Chapman (Pistol – Rapid fire men), Jennifer Hens (Smallbore Rifle – Air Rifle Women & Prone Women), Dane Sampson (Smallbore Rifle – 3 Position Men, Air Rifle Men and Prone Men), and elite juniors Emma Adams (Smallbore Rifle – Air Rifle Women) and Jack Rossiter (Smallbore Rifle – Air Rifle Men).
Apart from natural talent, years of experience and practice, South Australians are so heavily represented in the Shooting Team due to two factors - having a world class coach operate in a world class facility.
Australian National High Performance Rifle Coach with Shooting Australia, Petr Kurka hails from the Czech Republic. In 2009 he moved to Australia after a long and distinguished career having achieved success at World Cup Finals, World and European Championships.
Petr's coaching career began in 1998 when he was asked to take over the Czech National Team, but is undoubtedly remembered for coaching his own daughter Katerina Emmons (nee Kurkova) to an Olympic bronze medal in Athens in 2004, and gold and silver at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
"Petr understands what is required to help athletes to reach their full potential. He is friendly, approachable and professional in his work," State Shooting coach Carrie Quigley said.
Two athletes who have excelled under the tutelage of Petr Kurka are young guns Emma Adams, 15, and Jack Rossiter, 17.
"Jack and Emma have a fantastic opportunity to see what an event like the Commonwealth Games is all about, and to experience competing at this level. They will aim to do the best they can, and if they do that, then they will have done a great job," Quigley said.
The State Shooting Range located in Wingfield boasts three international standard ranges, two indoor ranges, one at 10 metres, and the other at 20 metres. The outdoor range is 50 metres. Both the 10 metre and 50 metre ranges were upgraded recently with MEYTON electronic target systems.
"The state association received a grant from the Office for Recreation and Sport which contributed towards the upgrade of the target systems from paper to electronic light laser technology. The experience for the athlete is that each shot is displayed on a monitor next to them and the results are immediate." Quigley said.
In the photo, from left to right: James Corbett, Michael Diamond, David Chapman, Laetisha Scanlan, Hayley Chapman, Emma Adams and Jack Rossiter.