Many athletes shoot to be the best, and marksmen understand that better than most.
Sheldon East is the vice president of the Huronia Hand Gun Club in Penetanguishene, and has been invited to represent Ontario at the Canadian National Championships held between July 25-31 in Devon, Nova Scotia.
No two matches are the same at the International Practical Shooting Confederation (IPSC) competition, hosted by the Atlantic Marksmen Association of Nova Scotia this year.
No fixed target arrangements, distances or shooting programs are provided; targets may be static, moving, partially covered, or a mix of the three.
“I’ve been shooting IPSC for a couple of decades now,” said East. “The nationals are a bit different in that you represent your province on a national level, and you still compete against the very top, the best in the world as well.”
East prides himself on teaching proper firearm safety within the Huronia Hand Gun Club, as detailed in a 2020 “Pursuit” interview with MidlandToday. He practises what he preaches as well, and has won at several continental tournaments over the years ranging from provincial through to international levels of excellence.
“I just enjoy going to different ranges around the world, meeting new friends and bringing the experience and lessons I’ve learned back to my club’s fellow shooters and friends,” said East. “I teach holster and firearm lessons at my club, and I’m very accurate so I’m hoping this can lend to the match.”
Competitions are held with pistol, revolver, rifle, and shotgun, and the competitors are divided into different divisions based on their skill level, age, and equipment features; the IPSC motto is “precision, power, speed”.
“I have a very good chance at winning gold if everything runs smooth,” said East, who owns a jewellery store in Midland. He added with a laugh, “Much like gold, you can have good and bad days.
“But I will be giving it my all, to go the very best I can.”
Derek Howard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, MidlandToday.ca