Members of the Guyana team following last Sunday’s session at the Timehri Range
Reigning West Indies Fullbore Shooting Council (WIFBSC) Short Range champions, the Guyana National Rifle Association (GNRA), has commenced training in earnest ahead of the next month’s championships, set for the island of Antigua from May 16-22.
Captain Mahendra Persaud and fellow marksmen began the task of gelling together and getting into rhythm on Sunday last at the Timehri Rifle Range as they seek to retain the title which they last won when the championships were held in Jamaica in 2014.
Last year there was no competition in the Caribbean as the West Indies competed at the World Long Range Championships and Palma Match, which were held at Camp Perry in Ohio, U.S.A, in August. Eight Guyanese had made up the 16-member West Indies team.
Guyana won the team Long and Short Range Titles (Milex and WIFSC Trophies) for an unprecedented fourth time on Jamaican soil in 2014; however, only the Short Range championship will be contested in Antigua, which does not have a Long Range.
Captain Persaud noted that practice on Sunday took on the team format that would be done in Antigua at the 300, 500 and 600 yards ranges.
“The exact format that we would be shooting in Antigua was used at training. We ran the order that we would also be using as we seek to get our form and focus going the way we ought to. I am confident that we will be able to retain the title as the best in the Caribbean,” Persaud explained.
Wind Coaches are Paul Slowe, Persaud, Lennox Braithwaite, Ransford Goodluck and Dylan Fields, who will all shoot and coach as has been the norm over the years.
Lennox Braithwaite is also the defending Caribbean Individual Champion and will be aiming to win this accolade for the fourth year in a row, having won in Guyana (2012), Barbados (2013) and Jamaica (2014).
Other members of the squad are Ryan Sampson, Peter Persaud, Terrence Stuart, Sherwin Felicien and Leo Romalho. Training will continue every Sunday in the lead up to departure for Antigua.
Meanwhile, the GNRA has disclosed that they are faced with a budget of $4.6 million in order to make the tour a reality. Letters have already been sent to corporate Guyana, as well as the relevant government ministries soliciting assistance.