Joshua aiming for higher targets
AGED 13, Joshua Pratt is already making an impact on the shooting range.
The Westside Christian College student has been invited to train with the Queensland under-25 team after his recent success.
Joshua was overall winner in his division at the recent state championships at Belmont.
It was his first major achievement in the sport.
While delighted with his success, proud mum Vicki said Joshua would be under no pressure to rise too quickly in his target rifle events.
"We've just got to take it easy and see where he goes with the training days and just see how he goes,'' she said.
Joshua started full bore rifle shooting with his dad Craig in F Class 18 months ago with the Ipswich & District Rifle Club.
But after the advice of a Queensland team full bore shooter he switched to the more traditional target rifle class.
In a short time, the teenager has improved his marksmanship skills to take home wins in C Grade at district rifle club prize meetings at Beaudesert and his home club Ipswich.
He has just competed at the 126th Queens Prize Meeting winning the C Grade Target Rifle in the Duncan Series, finishing runner-up in the Queens series and securing the Grand Aggregate for the five-day competition at the Belmont shooting complex.
It was Joshua's first time competing on a national stage with electronic targets.
"I would love to be shooting on electronic target at our club,'' Joshua said.
"You can see exactly where your bullets have entered the targets and you can print them out later to have a look at them.''
The Ipswich and District Rifle Club have been fund raising and applying for grants to make this happen but so far have been unsuccessful.
Joshua attributes a lot of his recent success to tremendous assistance provided by fellow club member and mentor John Hislop.
Hislop, a former Queensland under-25 coach and teammate, believes Joshua has a wonderful future in the sport as long as he keeps a level head, continues to practice and learns from his mistakes.
The Ipswich teenager has been invited by the Queensland under-25 state team to train with them this weekend and be coached in preparation for competing nationwide with the state team.
With determination and dedication, he hopes to one day compete for Australia on a world stage.