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Thread: Starting a Club

  1. #1
    REP: Oom A's Airguns

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    A regular lament on Airrifle dot co dot za is: “I live in Skuldbult Ext109. Is there a club or practice area near me?” The usual answer is NO, followed by “Why don't you start one.” This normally leads to much wailing and gnashing of teeth. The best ever was: “I am in IT, you MUST find and build a range in my area.” After receiving the equivalent of ..!. as an answer said person left the forum and sold his rifles. Ag tsjame.

    For starters you need you and one other person to call yourselves a club. Next is finding a venue. Many consider this to be the most difficult part. Believe me, it isn't. Ask at the local gunshop if there are any shooting ranges in the area. You can also get this information from your local police station. Ask at your local municipality if there is an open area zoned for outdoor pursuits. Be on the lookout for wooded areas, undeveloped hillsides and kloofs. Most farmers have their name at the farm entrance and many also have their phone numbers up for the various other businesses they run from there. Phone and make an appointment. The worst they can say is no. A fellow by the name of Sanders heard 12 439 noes before one person said yes. The rest, as they say, is history.


    Now that you have your venue, acquire a handful of targets, go and set them up and give the venue a trial run. If all goes well set a date at least a month away. Make an appointment with the sports reporter at you community newspaper. Invite them to your opening event. Have some blurb about the club, some photos of the venue and rifles on a flash drive. Also have a paragraph for the “events diary”. Ask for it to be included each week up to the publication date just prior to your event. Submit the results of the day with a few pictures. This can normally be done by email. Draw up a calendar for the year and they will publish it for you as well. Remember to send your paragraph for the diary before the deadline for each event as well as the results and photos of each event. We have grown Nomads from 15 to 38 members in just over a year by doing this.


    Now comes the really difficult part. There will be two or three people willing to help you through thick and thin. What happens when none of you can make a scheduled event. Who is going to pick up the ball and run with it? When you get that one right, you will have created a club.


    A few guide lines to selecting a venue. First prize is a wooded kloof. As long as you keep all targets about 10 degrees below the skyline you will be OK. Next best is a hillside. With some imaginative planning you can develop both uphill, level and downhill shots. A flat wooded area will give you some uphill shots. An open field will take some creative thinking but challenging courses can be built. If there is not a natural backstop the allow at least 250m of safe space from each shooting point.


    Some useful info is available here:
    http://www.pyramydair.com/blog/?s=Ho...t+a+club&btnGo=


    Get out there, make it happen and have fun.
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  2. #2
    Sharp Shooter
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    +100000!!! Oom A!
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  3. #3
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    Oom A
    Ive been toying with this idee for a while - maybe strting a club in Potch.
    I think there should be enough interesst and with the university here this could become interesting.
    Obviously venues are not free and some sort of access control needs to be kept. Could be done by someone working thre and even running a little tuck shop.
    So threre will have to be membership fees and costs for usage of the range. What is reasonable for this?
    I think we might see a lot more responsible shooting if we could get a range. "Pellet guns"have been blamed here for the unncecesary shooting of cats, dogs and birds.
    If some of these people have a legal outlet then this should also hopefully decrease.
    I think threse are lots of possibilities like IPAS (which should do well under students and school kids). If possible you could combine it with some paintball stuff even.

    Now I know one would not get rich from this but I dont have the time for setteing all this up and runing it. If however I could make some money from it aslo then I will certainly scale down on my "day job"

    Any thoughts?
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  4. #4
    REP: Oom A's Airguns

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    A club is a gathering of diverse people sharing a common interest. If you set out with the goal of making money from it you will fail. At what is now Nomads we have built our 5th range in three years. All I have got out is the cash I have spent from my own pocket to make it happen. Nothing for petrol, phone calls, etc. I live 75km from the range.
    We share the facility with West Rand Bowhunters and pay them a percentage of event entry fees towards upkeep. We have outsourced the catering to the Voortekkers. They use the profit to fund less fortunate children to be able to attend proficiency badge camps. We are more than happy to do this as it is one thing less to worry about on a shooting day.
    Yes it has been a lot of work by a number of people but we now have a world class FT/HFT range where the most that is required to put up a target is 3 wing nuts. One of our greatest assets is flushing loos for the ladies. Look after the ladies and they will look after the admin for you.
    As for not having the time, BS. If you want it to happen you will make the time and attract people to you to hep fulfill your dream.
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  5. #5
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    All valid points and I agree.
    Lets see what the furture holds!
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  6. #6
    Protea FT Team '17
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    Hack,

    There are quite a few air rifle shooters in the Potch area, it just takes 2 to start. (as the Costner film famous line goes: "Build it and they will come!")

    My attempts thus far have been, shall we say, less than a raging success. Maybe HFT/IPAS etc will be a bit more successful.
    Lets see what the future holds.'
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  7. #7
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    Yip you right.

    I dont want to commit anything...... yet.
    I have to many hobbies. Im involved in middle & long distance running coaching at national and intenational level. Friday see the arrival of the first of around 400 international athletes (from all over Europe) that will come to Potch between now and April 2015. So I will be a bussy little bee. This will be almast 7 days a week.
    Then there is the rest of my work....
    Im in the process of really restucturing as I feel I dont have much quality of life and way to much admin.

    So watch thiis space
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  8. #8
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    The typical response: "ja, sure. Won't miss it for the world. Can't wait." On the day nobody pitches up and they all have kak cell coverage.
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  9. #9
    REP: Oom A's Airguns

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    Chees. For the first shoot I organised three people arrived. The next, also a club shoot 18. The following was a league and over 40 arrived. A few months later when we had to move the range from one end of the property to the other 17 arrived on the Saturday and 16 on the Sunday. Had I become discouraged after the first one I would not be chairman of a club today which is probably going to have more than 40 members by year end. I use each event as an opportunity to gain knowledge as to improving the experience of the folks coming to shoot as well as those coming to support family and friends.
    Take a look at the SAFTAA calendar for next year. 19 club shoots and 3 leagues. Probably the most active airgun club in the country. One of the goals is to have at least 60 active members by the end of 2015.
    If you are going to start with a negative attitude you may as well give up now.
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  10. #10
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    Oon A
    I do agree. Have to start somewhere and with a positive attitude. You have to give time for growth.
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  11. #11
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    Too true.

    I make a living dealing with people all day, and the whole experience has put me off the human race in general. If somebody calls or walks into my office, they want to ask something that a monkey with google access could solve, they want something free, or they want to tell you a lie that gets them something free.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by cheesypoof View Post
    The typical response: "ja, sure. Won't miss it for the world. Can't wait." On the day nobody pitches up and they all have kak cell coverage.
    Like the oke sleeping on his couch with wine flu... :runs and hides from the big bearded guy wielding a Condor:
    Just kidding!
    But all jokes aside, maybe some local newspaper coverage of an "event" we could arrange would spark some extra interest. In the last two shoots we have had there were four new faces that could potentially be regulars. I mean there are what, 25 lanes at our range? and that excludes the area not under the roof?
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  13. #13
    Sharp Shooter

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    Here in PE we have a bunch of enthusiastic shooters and an absolute gem of a potential venue - the disused Arlington Racecourse (-34.005646, 25.569020) - that could cater for every imaginable discipline, from indoor 10m events, a 50m semi-indoor range and up to 150m outdoor.

    I finally managed to track down the manager of the property, who has no objection to us using the venue, provided all the legal requirements are met - so where to from here?
    Do we need SAPS to come and certify that there is the required distance backstop clearance?
    This manager needs something to present the owner(s) for final approval and would no doubt like something in black and white that exempts them from any liability.
    What legal requirements are there regarding safety officers for indoor and outdoor ranges?

    What do I give him?
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