Two Powell River athletes, Katheryn Sheldon and Gabriella Dube, have been honing their target shooting skills with Powell River Yellow Jackets for the past few years, and their dedication is paying off. Both have been named to the sport’s provincial team and in addition to competing at provincials they plan to attend a national competition held in Toronto later this summer.
“We’re extremely proud of their accomplishments,” said coach Darryl Craig. “They’ve been working hard, training hard and the results have bore out because of their work.”
Both young women became interested in shooting and marksmanship through their association with the local cadet program.
“I’m in the army cadet corps,” said Sheldon. “Through there I met Darryl, who told me about the Yellow Jackets shooting team, and now I shoot provincially and I’m going to my first national competition at the end of August.”
The athletes were also recently recipients of high performance grants, added Craig.
“They were both given provincial grants through the athlete assistance program to help them travel to events and buy equipment,” he said.
In addition, Craig has been named national coach for the Shooting Federation of Canada, which includes preparing athletes from across the country for upcoming competitions at the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru.
“I’ll be coaching the national team for all of Canada when they go to the Pan Am games and probably to the Olympics in 2020 as well,” he said. “I’m thrilled. It’s a fantastic opportunity as a coach and I’m really excited about the things I’m going to learn.”
Craig has been involved in the sport since childhood.
“Ever since I was a kid I had a pellet gun,” he said. “I started target shooting and wanted to improve myself as an athlete. That led to me coaching other people.”
The opportunity to coach at the national level came about sooner than Craig expected.
“I’ve been working my way into more advanced coaching and the opportunity just came up almost unexpectedly,” he added.
Craig said the achievements he, Sheldon and Dube have made prove that anything is possible, regardless of location, when you have innate skill, put the work in and show up.
“It shows you if you keep chewing away at things in a small town big stuff happens,” he added.
Yellow Jackets practice every Thursday at Powell River Rod and Gun Club, in the disciplines of prone and three-position shooting, using 22-calibre target rifles. The team welcomes all ages.
For more information about the Yellow Jackets, go to powellriverrodandgunclub.com or call Craig at 604.414.7164.