No matter what your calibre, amateur or Olympic, it is always worthwhile to sharpen your shooting skills - who knows, you may have to hunt for food one day, or get rid of those pesky birds trying to make a nest out of your air-conditioner.

By Faisal Masudi (Staff Reporter)

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Published: Wed 21 Jul 2004, 10:46 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 12:46 AM

The club is one of three such venues in the entire country, informed Arkan Al Amiry, manager of UAQSC. The middle-aged Iraqi is an active participant in the effort to standardise shooting clubs in the Emirates. He was at a Federal National Council meeting in Abu Dhabi recently to discuss issues facing the industry.

'We agreed about some ground rules. Previously, it was the local governments overseeing policy,' Al Amiry explained. Coping with the current ban on assault rifles that was placed after the second Gulf War, the club only features paint-ball air-guns and outdoor sports shooting: Trap, Double Trap, and Skeet. The latter are Olympic events that involve shooting clay-pigeon disks with a double-barrel shot-gun, Al Amiry, a 'Class B' referee of the International Sports Shooting Federation (ISSF), pointed-out. The ISSF is the world's governing body for the sport.

The manager, who holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics, told City Times that Shaikh Ahmed Mohammed bin Hasher Al Maktoum will 'hold the flag' for the UAE in the coming Olympic Games. Shaikh Ahmed is the reigning world champion in double-trap, and will compete in Athens. Laporte Group, the leading supplier of the machines and accessories for the sport, will sponsor the Shaikh, said Al Amiry.

Representing the country in the Olympic skeet category is Shaikh Saeed bin Maktoum Al Maktoum. He has been granted the 'wild card' (special permission or representation) by the ISSF, attested the mathematician turned sportsman. Additionally, Al Amiry continued, Dubai had been selected to host the Final World Cup.

I can't give exact dates but it'll be towards the end of the year," promised the gunman. The top 12 competitors, men and women, will participate in all three categories of the event under the scrutiny of the ISSF.

The shooting-coach is in constant touch with the Ministry of Interior, and Ministry of Education and Youth to possibly reintroduce 22 calibre pistols and rifles, and 9 mm handguns. "This sport builds self-confidence and instills courage," Al Amiry said. "You'll feel it removes the stress of work and everyday life," continued the UAQSC manager. "Safety is more important that good shooting and, thankfully, we've had no accidents," he testified.

Live game used to be the target for this sport in the early 19th century. It was primarily a hobby for the rich and famous of London. But development of catapults used to launch glass or clay "pigeons" expedited the popularity of shooting. No longer was it a luxury reserved of the upper-class; but entrepreneurs soon capitalised on the growing business value of trap-shooting.

Nowadays, men and women, old and young, can enjoy shooting safely. It can be for simple fun, sharpening your ability, or competing at the international level.

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