Shooting is a test of accuracy and control, in which competitors use pistols or rifles to fire a series of shots at a stationary target. It's a sport that almost anybody can do, no matter what type of disability they may have, and is ideal for people who want to improve accuracy, concentration and discipline, while having the opportunity to travel, socialise, meet new people and make new friends.
Athletes compete in rifle and pistol events from distances of 10, 25 and 50 metres, in men's, women's and mixed competitions.
In competition at the Paralympic Games level, a feature of the global tournament since the 1976 Toronto Games, a functional classification system is used which enables athletes from different disability classes to compete together either individually or in teams, with wheelchair users competing on equal level with standing shooters.
If you get into shooting you will get classified based on your ability or disability, and this classification allows you to compete against people with similar physical or functional shooting ability as yourself.
Disabled shooters use exactly the same guns and clothing as non-disabled shooters, but there are adaptations such as the use of a shooting chair for competitors unable to stand, or a shooting table for events like kneeling or prone. A shortened shooting jacket is also used for seated competitors, depending on chair height.
Practiced in at least 51 countries at the Paralympic level, there are also plenty of opportunities for people to participate recreationally or for the social aspect of the sport.
The New Zealand Shooting Federation is the national sport organisation and works with Paralympics NZ to support the development and growth of the sport around the country, so whether your interest is recreational or competitive there are opportunities to get involved.