Mark aims to have clay target shooting added to Paralympics

ON TARGET: Clay target shooter Mark Farrow, of Birkdale, will compete in Lonato, Italy in the International  Grand Prix for disabled shooters.
ON TARGET: Clay target shooter Mark Farrow, of Birkdale, will compete in Lonato, Italy in the International Grand Prix for disabled shooters.

MARK Farrow hopes clay target shooting will one day be a Paralympic sport.

He will fly to Italy on Monday to play his part in raising the profile of the sport as one for people with disabilities.

The Birkdale clay target shooter, whose left arm was amputated just above the elbow following a severe electric shock at the age of two, will compete at the International Grand Prix for Disabled Shooters in Lonato, Italy, from May 5 to 7.

The international event runs alongside the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) Clay Target World Cup, which will be held at the same venue.

Mark said there had been a push from clay target shooters with disabilities to have the sport included in the Paralympics “for some time” and said the

competition in Italy would reinforce a submission previously made to the ISSF and the International Paralympic Committee by the Italian sporting organisation FITAV.

“It will probably take two periods to see clay target shooting in the Paralympic Games,” Mark said.

“It won’t happen this year, but we might see a demonstration of the sport next time.

“By going to this competition, I’m representing Australia in the push to get clay target shooting into the Paralympics.

“For a person with a disability, who also shoots, clay target shooting is more exciting than shooting stationery targets.

“It’s also another chance for people with disabilities to get out there in the world and show what they can do.”

Mark, who began shooting at the age of 17 and has been a member of Brisbane Gun Club for 10 years, said he hoped his staunch support of clay target shooting would “leave a little legacy for those who follow”.

“I’ll never make it to the Paralympics,” he said.

“I’ll be too old by then, but if I keep doing what I can and if we do get clay target shooting into the Paralympics, I’ll know that I’ve done my bit for my country in helping get it there.”

Mark said his trip to Italy was fully funded thanks to the support of local shooting clubs, Queensland Sporting Clays Association, Queensland Clay Target Association and Sporting Wheelies.