The Samoa Shooting Federation’s National tournament fired off on Thursday at the Tafaigata Shooting Range.
This is their main event of the year to determine the best in the sport.
Papalii Francis Caffarelli, President of the S.S.F., said in the past there has always been a local shooter who wins the nationals and he hopes that it will be the same this year.
There are more than 30 local shooters and a team of six from New Zealand who are here for this three-day tournament.
Due to the number of shooters who have registered, they have had to extend the number of competition days to three compared with the one-day tournament in previous years.
“We have had this tournament every year for only one day but this year it’s different.
It is a three-day tournament. With the number of shooters we cannot do one day anymore which is why we are running things from Thursday through to Saturday,” he told Samoa Observer.
He is certain that there will be more shooters coming in from different countries next year.
The reason there are not many other different Pacific Island nations joining in is because of their own preparations towards the upcoming Commonwealth Games next year.
There are some junior players who are competing in the tournament and they are under supervision and have also been educated on the safety aspects of using a firearm.
“It is a very expensive sport but we have allowed our juniors to shoot at a cheaper rate to encourage them. We keep a close eye on them and we teach them the rules and regulations of the game. We focus mainly on teaching them the importance of safety,” he added.
Mr. Caffarelli cited the uniqueness of this sport and the responsibilities that comes with it.
“It is something that you spend a lot of money on, it is something that is not cheap. So you look after your firearms and equipment. If you look after it, it will look after you as well. Basically find the gun that suits you, you can’t just bring up any gun and go for it.
“You need to find the right firearm. We have regulations to ensure that you store your firearms in a safe.”
The S.S.F.’s overseas accredited referee, Dominic Faagalu Fonoti shared that the sport requires calmness.
“Any shooter should have patience and never be angry because you must remember that if you miss a shot, you are holding a firearm. The player is not allowed to face the audience and that is another rule. Safety is everything but above all shooters should always be calm and settled.”
The major sponsor for this event is Taula Beverages and the president of the Samoa Shooting Federation is very thankful for this support.
“Taula Beverages is the major sponsor for this event but there are other companies that help out. These are the people who have helped the Shooting Federation move forward,” said Mr. Caffarelli.
Caroline Pereira, the Head Marketing for Taula said their company was all about helping their local peers because they are a 100 percent Samoan-owned.
They are all about supporting the local companies and local sports in their development in Samoa.