Nestled between the Biochemistry and Hamilton building lies a club unbeknownst to many Trinity students; the Rifle Club (DURC). While the club is the third oldest sports club in the college, many are unaware of all it has to offer – and, according to the club’s current captain Angela Wu, it offers a lot.
The club welcomes in students who wish to train or just get away from the everyday stresses of college life. Their on-campus location offers both Olympic and Paralympic Target Shooting facilities, making them one of the most accessible clubs on campus. This is a club where everyone is welcome, and the club’s committee aims to make joining as easy as possible. “We are one of the only shooting clubs available where all equipment and instruction is part of the package upon joining”, Wu explains. “Newcomers receive one-to-one instruction from a trained DURC range officer in the art of Target Shooting to ensure everyone can enjoy themselves and have the assistance they need to learn and improve.” Wu was quick to highlight that experience is not a requirement upon joining the club. The club’s facilities are also receiving an upgrade and the club will soon relocate to Printing House Square, where they will continue to offer both airgun and small-bore shooting for their loyal members.
“In fact, many of the members aim to join the club’s “High-Performance Squad”, and compete both locally and internationally.”
Wu describes the members of the club to include “everyone and anyone”, ranging a number of ages and disciplines from across College. Some look to the club for the relaxation that a focus sport such as shooting can offer, others come for the competitive element of the competitions they attend. In fact, many of the members aim to join the club’s High-Performance Squad and compete both locally and internationally. “We have members who picked up a rifle for the first time in our range and now compete on the world stage representing Ireland as part of the Irish National Squad,” Wu explained with pride. However, others just enjoy the more social aspects of the club, and shoot just for fun and the unique experience the club offers.
Wu feels confident that the club fits in well in Trinity and has a lot to offer to College. She explains that it offers an easy escape from “busy schedules and the hectic life at Trinity”. She herself has used the club as an escape from college stress since starting in Trinity. “We allow those of various skill levels to foster their ability to focus, relax, and learn from success and failure.” However, she does agree that the club, at times, gets overlooked by students. “DUCAC and Trinity Sport have given us a lot of care and love, and we are greatly appreciative…I do believe that more students could benefit from our club if they gave it a shot.” The club also organises trips for clay pigeon shooting and to try out 50m small-bore shooting. In fact, they are currently holding a photography competition, with the theme being their current on-campus location. “Over the past few years, we’ve been moved several times and we were hoping to capture the wonderful moments that we have had in the current range and perhaps bring these photographs to our new permanent home,” Wu explains.
“While the club already caters for wheelchair users, Wu hopes to include the visually impaired.”
In terms of the future, Wu only sees further success for the club. “I hope that with the new range more students will decide to try this sport out. I also hope to see more DURC members go on to compete at an international level.” She expresses an interest in obtaining more equipment to ensure that the club remains as accessible as possible. While the club already caters for wheelchair users, Wu hopes to also include the visually impaired. “We hope to invest in the future in training and equipment to allow us to cater for the newest event introduced in the sport; visually impaired shooting, so we can truly be a club for every individual who wants to get involved.” She also conveyed her excitement to move the club forward into their new home. This being said, she hopes that the core values of the club will remain intact. “I also hope that as a club we can continue to give members a safe place to be themselves.”
Whether you have never shot before, or you want to further your training and ability, the club’s doors remain open for you. According to Wu: “At the very least, you will meet some really wonderful people and try out something new!”