A star behind the scenes
LYNNE Teale describes herself as a “non-shooter”, yet she is arguably the most important figure in the local area’s shooting cricles.
“I have very limited ability on the tracks, so I only shoot enough times each year to retain my firearms license,” Lynne said.
“I soon learnt that I couldn’t hit the clay targets in flight and it didn’t count if I hit them after they had landed.
“Not competing hasn’t appeared to be a drawback for me though because as in any sport a high level of administration activity is always required.”
Lynne’s journey in the sport has stretched over 30 years.
It has seen her fulfill numerous duties at both club, state and national levels.
The long-serving Bega Gun Club secretary and treasurer said she initially joined up for family reasons.
“It all started because it kept us together as a family on weekends,” Lynne said.
“At that time, the club was in its infancy and it was obvious the club was expanding and would need structure and planning to accommodate for the growth.
“Given my previous business experience I stepped in; I felt I could provide what was required.
“The Bega Gun Club is a great club to be involved with mainly because our members have good country attitudes.
“Throughout the years a great deal of our committee’s efforts has also focused on attracting tourism in this area.
“Many people return to Bega year-after-year to compete.
“The success of our club has certainly worked to generate more reasons for people to come to the Valley.”
In the early 1990s, Lynne decided that she had more to give to the sport and was interested in a senior role in the state’s clay shooting administration.
It was then she realised she needed to forge her own identity and volunteering in this area paved the way.
“I attended a couple of zone shooting events and while I was there basically asked to watch the volunteers so I could learn and take that information back with me to benefit Bega,” Lynne said.
“In 1994 I became Bega club’s delegate to represent our zone at the next level and from there I was unanimously nominated to the NSW Clay Target Association’s Executive Committee (NSWCTA).
“Throughout the past years my volunteering assistance became recognised and in demand to organise and assist in Zone, State and National events.
“Some memorable highlights for me have been as the office manager at the successful 1997 and
2006 World Down the Line Championships, participation in the NSW Police Firearms Legislation Review Committee and being awarded Life Membership of the Bega Gun Club.
“During this time I have developed lasting friendships with many people and seen the emergence of people acknowledging the administrative work was equally as important as the shooting itself.
“The recognition I have received, even though just a simple thank you has made it all worthwhile,” Lynne said.
Lynne was NSWCTA president for six years and took on the role of vice-president twice.
She recently retired from the state committee and is set to be recognised for her achievements next month when she is to be inducted into the NSWCTA’s Hall of Fame as a Life Member.
“I feel very humbled and honored that they are inducting me as I will be just the 11th person in 60-odd years to be recognised this way,” Lynne said.
“This will be my biggest achievement since winning the NSW Firearm Safety Awareness Council’s Shooting Sportsman of the Year bronze medal award in 1993.
“On that occasion the gold medal winner was Olympian Michael Diamond, so I was in illustrious company then and I will be again as I am the first women to ever get both.
“But the euphoria for me has been watching others succeed, particularly youngsters.
“Throughout the years I have generated numerous cornerstones that others have built on, such as coaching clinics for new, juniors and lady shooters and open days to promote the safe use of firearms.”
Lynne said being a woman has helped her in the sport.
“I’ve been able to bring in a different view, being a woman, I know that change is inevitable and I’ve been in a position to assist with that,” she said.
“Memberships for female shooters have increased dramatically over the last 10 years throughout the nation which has been great to see.
“Sadly though, women are still the minority in this sport but we have come a long way.
“I’d say that on average only three out of 100 competition shooters are women but they are all very talented.”
Fortunately, the local shooting community is not losing her services and Lynne said Bega Gun Club was heading in the right direction.
“The club has grown at a steady, achievable rate and membership is still growing,” she said.
“We have advocated a lot of sensible, logical approaches.
“I feel we have benefited greatly by bringing zone, state and national links to Bega.
“It is my hope that I can still be of benefit to our club and zone for another few years yet and in the meantime, I will be looking for someone else’s involvement to take over my role.”