Toronto International Trap & Skeet Club Named Shooting Venue for TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games

Games creating legacy of first training/competition venue in Canada for pistol, rifle and shotgun

INNISFIL, ON, Jan. 22, 2014 /CNW/ - The best shooting athletes in the Americas and Caribbean will take aim at the Toronto International Trap & Skeet Club during the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games, the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games Organizing Committee (TO2015) confirmed today.

The private club, located about an hour from Toronto, was founded by local shooting enthusiasts in 1970. At Games time, it will be known as the Pan Am Shooting Centre and will host competitions in 25-metre pistol, 50-metre rifle and pistol, 10-metre air rifle, as well as trap and skeet. These competitions will be Olympic qualifiers for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

For the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games, the Government of Canada is funding a new permanent combined 25-metre and 50-metre range, a new separate 10-metre air rifle range and improvements to two of the club's existing trap and skeet ranges.

The investment is an important legacy for the sport in Canada, providing the first facility for the country's top shooting athletes in pistol, rifle and shotgun disciplines.

"The TORONTO 2015 Games are creating a number of important legacy infrastructure investments for Canadian athletes in Ontario," explained Saäd Rafi, chief executive officer of TO2015.

"For the first time in 20 years, the best shooting athletes in Canada will have a world-class facility that offers much-needed training opportunities in all three disciplines of their sport," he said. "Canada has produced many champion shooting stars over the years but this investment will take the sport to the next level in our country."

Also on hand for the announcement today was 2007 Pan Am champion Avianna Chao, who won a gold medal in the 10-metre air pistol event. She is one of 10 individual Pan Am shooting champions Canada has produced since the country first competed at the 1955 Games. At the Olympic Games, Canada has had four champions since 1908.

"Canada's best shooting athletes have represented their country with pride over the years but it's been a struggle to find world-class venues where we can train and compete at home," Chao said. "Today, marks the start of a new chapter for us. We've always had the talent and drive to excel internationally and now we will have the facilities, too."

The structures and equipment for pistol, rifle and shotgun at the club will be governed by International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) requirements, as well as the Royal Canadian Mounted Police's Range Design and Construction Guidelines. The Chief Firearms Office will also provide guidance on range construction.

"The sport of shooting has a long history at the Pan Am and Olympic Games, and Canadians have stood at the top of the podium on several occasions, starting with the legendary Walter Ewing's Olympic win in 1908," said the Honourable Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sport). "As a supporter of the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games, our government is proud that this venue will enable our best to train and compete in a world-class facility here at home, as well as leave a lasting legacy for the development of our athletes."

The Pan Am shooting competition involves three disciplines: pistol, rifle and shotgun. In pistol and rifle, competitors shoot at a ringed target from distances of 10, 25 or 50 metres, and depending on the event, in either a standing, kneeling or prone position. In shotgun events, athletes shoot at clay targets launched in front of them (trap) or to the side (skeet). Medal winners in each event are decided by adding up scores after a number of rounds of shooting.

"High-performance and recreational athletes will benefit greatly from this Games-driven investment in the Toronto International Trap & Skeet Club," said Michael Chan, Minister Responsible for the Pan/Parapan American Games. "As we prepare for the 2015 Games, we are proud to support the important legacy that the event is creating in our communities."

The new combined rifle and pistol range will have 40 positions at the 50-metre and 25-metre lines, a covered firing point with a baffled system downrange and new targetry equipment.

The new air rifle range will have 50 shooting positions and new targetry equipment in a fully enclosed, heated/air conditioned building.

The retrofit of the trap and skeet ranges will have a structurally reinforced concrete in-ground target pit to house new targetry launching equipment, high and low houses, as well as shooting positions with concrete pads.

"The improvements to the Toronto International Trap & Skeet Club will make the facility the best Canada has ever had and lay the foundation for future success in Olympic shooting sports," said Bob Mitchell, technical delegate appointed by the ISSF to the 2015 Games.

TO2015 will issue a request for proposals for the construction contract in the coming months. The work will be completed in early 2015.

"We are pleased that the 2015 Pan Am Games have identified a venue in our community for the purpose of hosting the top shooting athletes in the Americas and Caribbean," said Innisfil Mayor Barb Baguley. "As a growing community we are pleased to have the Toronto International Trap & Skeet Club transformed into a world-class training and competition facility through the legacy investment of the 2015 Pan Am Games."

Canada and Shooting at the Pan Am and Olympic Games

Shooting has been contested at the Olympic Games since 1896 and has been part of the Pan Am sport program since the first Games in 1951. Canada first competed in Olympic shooting in 1908 and in Pan Am shooting in 1955.

Canada has won dozens of medals in shooting at the Pan Am Games over the years, and produced individual champions on 10 occasions, as well as several team gold medals. They include:

  • Dorothy Ludwig (10-m air pistol, 2011)
  • Avianna Chao (10-m air pistol, 2007)
  • Susan Nattrass (trap, 2007)
  • Kim Eagles (10-m air pistol, 1999)
  • Sharon Cozzarin (10-m air pistol, 1991)
  • Sharon Bowes (10-m air rifle, 1987)
  • Patrick Vamplew (50-m rifle prone, 1987)
  • Guy Lorion (10-m air rifle, 1987 and 10-m air rifle, 1979)
  • Alfons Mayer (50-m rifle, 1967)
  • Gerry Ouellette (free rifle, 3-position, 1959)

The Olympic champions are:

  • Linda Thom (25-m pistol, 1984)
  • Gerry Ouellette (small bore rifle prone, 1956)
  • George Genereux (trap, 1952)
  • Walter Ewing (trap, 1908)

About TO2015
The TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games Organizing Committee (TO2015) is tasked with the responsibility of planning, managing and delivering the Games. Its mission is to ignite the spirit through a celebration of sport and culture. The TORONTO 2015 Pan American Games will take place July 10−26 and the Parapan American Games August 7-14.

The 2015 Games are funded by the Government of Canada, the Province of Ontario, as well as other partners and sponsors. CIBC is the Lead Partner of the Games.

For more information about the Games, please visit TORONTO2015.org.

SOURCE: Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games

For further information:

Teddy Katz
Director, Media Relations and Chief Spokesperson, TO2015
416.957.2117
teddy.katz@toronto2015.org

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Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games

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