National event a swan song for Strathcona range

DEREK VAN DIEST -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 12:12 PM ET

They're going out with a bang.

The 2006 National Trapshooting championships will be the last major event held at the Strathcona Shooting Range.

The City of Edmonton is reclaiming the land.

The range is being shutdown and the facility must be vacated by June of next year.

It's a big blow to Canadian trapshooting as the facility, located at the southern end of the city just off 50 St., is the premier facility in the country.

"This facility has been here since 1978, it's a legacy facility from the Commonwealth Games," said Sandra Honour, secretary of the provincial trapshooting association. "So as of next year, we have no place to train or to hold competitions in Northern Alberta."

Without land being provided by the city to relocate the range, it's up to the trap shooters themselves to come up with funds for a new facility.

That's something which at the moment is not feasible.

"We'll have to purchase land," Honour said. "And for us to purchase land within an hours drive or town to make it economically feasible is pretty difficult. Especially with acreage owners not wanting the sound of gunfire."

Therefore this weekend's event is the last time the best shooters in the country will gather to compete in Edmonton.

Over 40 competitors will be taking part in the competition which runs through next Saturday.

They'll be competing for spots on the national team.

"I'm just so sorry we're going to lose this club," said Canadian trapshooting legend Susan Nattrass.

"I think it's dreadful. I think it's the biggest mistake the City of Edmonton has ever made. This is the best facility in Canada. It has produced more champions than any facility in North America. We've had Edmonton shooters on the national team since the old original Edmonton Gun Club in 1961.

"It's just terrible. It's just awful."


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