The preparations and refurbishing of the Timehri Rifle Range for the Guyana National Rifle Association (GuyanaNRA) historic 150th Anniversary which will coincide with the hosting of the West Indies Full Bore
Shooting Championship (WIFBSC) in October this year have been moving apace.
Association Secretary Ryan Sampson has informed that works commenced on upgrading the target mechanisms this past weekend and are progressing fine. He has extended thanks to the newly appointed Chief of Staff Brig. Patrick West, whom he said met with the Executive and Council of the GuyanaNRA.
At that meeting, Sampson reported that an agreement was reached for a collaborative effort to be pursued with respect to enhancement of the range to international standards.
”The GuyanaNRA presented a comprehensive plan which was prepared in early 2016 to Brig. Patrick West, who lauded our efforts for enhancement of the ranges which he said also fell within their overall developmental frame work.”
Sampson further explained that the two bodies have been using and developing the Timehri Range for a very long time.
”Historically, the range was built by the American Forces stationed at Timehri. After WW II, the range was abandoned. With the formation and establishment of the GDF headquarters at Camp Ayanganna where the GuyanaNRA range was located, shooting was suspended. It was in the 1960s that one of its members, Mr. Mohamed Ali, went to Timehri and located the old range. Work was then started by the association to clear the area and arrangements put in place to carry their target mechanisms to the new site. Once more, the Guyana NRA was able to restart the sport of rifle shooting.”
The 150th Anniversary Planning Committee was re-convened after the Christmas season by Fullbore Captain Mahendra Persaud to continue the process started last year, with the expansion of the shooting banks.
Persaud has stated that they we would be pushing hard over the next few months to complete most of the work.
”Sunday last saw the members with the assistance of the GDF which contributed a frontend loader working on the area for the new target mechanisms. During this week work will continue on the foundation for the target mechanisms which when completed should total 24. The butts are which is where the markers of the target are located is to also be reinforced for their safety and protection.”
The association is aiming to complete all works by the end of March so that practice can commence in early April. Sampson noted that members will be working with the contractors and making personal donations to help offset some of the costs associated with the improvement works.
He explained that apart from the GDF, the government of Guyana is also assisting to ensure that Guyana puts on the best show.
”However, this will not be enough and we will soon be seeking assistance from the business community since our budget we have put together to cover everything is close to 14M dollars. We are committed to reaching out to our friends and well wishers in the business community to assist us.”
Teams and shooters that are expected to be here for the championships from October 8-15 are Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, Jamaica, Antigua and Barbuda, Bermuda, Canada, USA, England, Scotland and Wales.
Last week, the Falkland Islands Rifle Association expressed interest and a letter of invitation was sent via the Guyana Olympic Association President, K. A Juman Yassin. Over 100 marksmen and women, some with their family members are expected to attend.
A day has been set aside for the shooters and families to be able to take advantage of Guyana’s eco-tourism.
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