Sydney High School Rifle Club

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Sydney High School Rifle Club
Fullbore Target.jpg
Full name Sydney High School Rifle Club
Nickname High
Sport Rifle Shooting
Founded 1883
League Athletic Association of the Great Public Schools
Home ground ANZAC Rifle Range
Colours Chocolate and Blue
Head coach Daniel Comben, Sam Kremer, Ishan Nadkarni
Captain Timothy Tran

The Sydney High School Rifle Club was established in 1883. It is based at the ANZAC Rifle Range in Sydney, Australia, and participates in Rifle Shooting competitions conducted by the AAGPS.


Rifle Shooting at Sydney Boys High School started with cadet shooting as early as October 1883. In 1910, forty Sydney Boys High School cadets formed the Sydney High School Rifle Club. Foundation officials were Rhodes (Captain), Berman (Secretary) and a Committee of Biden, Beasley and Uren. Competitions were successful. H. G. Kershaw, by winning the 200-yard match (with 15 consecutive bullseyes) showed the NRA of NSW the talent which was confirmed by his success in later life. H. G. Kershaw is believed to have been the first Sydney High student to visit Bisley Ranges in England, having travelled there with the Coronation Contingent in 1911.

After the War, the Rifle Club was reformed in 1924. Owing to the distance between School and Liverpool, permission was granted to shoot at Long Bay and to compete in events conducted by the New South Wales Militia Rifle Clubs Union.

In 1931 the Anderson Cup was won, plus the Buchanan GPS Shield (first GPS rifle match won by Sydney Boys High School) The team placed 3rd in the GPS Premiership. Competing against Militia Officers 10 to 20 years his senior, Club Secretary Jim Sweet won the Champion of Champions event and was praised at a School Assembly by Headmaster G. C. Saxby. The Sunday Sun reported on 26 April 1931, SHS boy Cadet Sweet led from first match to top score at each of 4 ranges to win Champion of Champions Militia Shoot. Club Captain C. Ebsworth won the Anzac Match in the Two-Day June Shoot.

In 1933, the Club Championship was won by Club Captain, Arthur Roden Cutler, who later became Governor of New South Wales. In 1934, the Club Secretary J. E. Ryan won the Club Championship and the GPS Cup was won by Club Captain Roden Cutler.

Early in World War II many British .303 rifles were lost at Dunkirk. The Australian Rifle Clubs and Cadet Corps returned their .303 rifles for use by British Troops. The Cadets were then issued with smaller single shot .310 rifles and the Clubs continued with .22 ammunition with small-bore rifles.

In 1942 former Club Captain A. R. Cutler was awarded the Victoria Cross for conspicuous gallantry during the Syrian campaign and for bravery during bitter fighting at Merdjayoun. Prowess with anti-tank rifles and Bren Guns repeatedly saved his life and the lives of others during those battles.

In 1943 a .22 small-bore rifle range was built at Sydney Boys High School for weekly practice and for competition with other schools.

After World War II, GPS Rifle Shooting competition were resumed without delay. By the mid 1950s the School 25-yard Range was in frequent use. Twelve from the Cadet Unit qualified for Crossed Rifles Badges.

In 1979, Headmaster Bob Outterside convinced the NSW Department of Education to reintroduce target shooting at the School. In 1987, Shooting Master G. P. Blinkhorne and P&C delegate, A. Govendir commenced the design phase of the Club's new 20 metre smallbore rifle range at the school. This range was completed late 1987 and, after inspection and approval by the Commonwealth Inspector of Rifle Ranges, the Headmaster fired the first shot in February 1988.

The Range was resumed for classrooms in 1994, and a new range was proposed for elsewhere on the campus. After objections were raised by teaching staff, the New South Wales Teachers Federation and the Director General of Education, a decision was taken in 1996 that a rifle range would not be built on the school grounds. Practices are now held at the ANZAC Rifle Range at Malabar. The Club has, since the early 1990s, also welcomed students from Sydney Girls High School.

In 2007, the Sydney High School Alumni Rifle Club clubhouse was renamed the New England Girls School clubhouse. In 2008, the 125th Anniversary of the Rifle Club, coincided with the 125th Anniversary of Sydney Boys High School.

In 2009, the club was Co-Premiers in the GPS competition, along with the Kings School

In 2012, the club was Co-Premiers in the GPS competition, along with The Armidale School

Overseas Tours[edit]

Since 1994, the Club has sent teams overseas to contest international events. The 1994 Tour to the United Kingdom, which involved seven boys and one girl, was an outstanding success, and an invitation was received from the National Rifle Association of the United Kingdom to send a further team to England in 1996. This team, of five students, contested the Imperial Meeting at Bisley and shot in the Under 25 Match against national teams from the United Kingdom and Canada.

In 1998, a team travelled to Canada to contest the Dominion of Canada Rifle Association matches at Connaught Ranges, just outside Ottawa. The same year, Sydney Boys High School won its first GPS Rifle Shooting Premiership.

In 2000, along with school teams from The Armidale School and New England Girls' School, a team was sent to the World Championships and 'Millennium Meeting' at Bisley. Retired Shooting Master, D. J. Fergusson, was the Tour Manager for this Australian Schools Combined Rifle Team. A number of Sydney Boys High School students were selected to compete in the Australian Under 21 Team during these Championships, with one student touring with the Australian Under 25 Team throughout Scotland and England.

Since the 2000 'Millennium Meeting', Sydney High School Rifle Club through the Australian Defence Force Cadets has sent teams roughly consisting of 10-20 cadet rifle shooters to contest in rifle shooting competitions. These shooters have been not only from Sydney Boys High School, But also from such schools as Sydney Grammar School and Knox Grammar School. The team has travelled to England every two years since the 'Millennium Meeting', shooting in various competitions and always returning with a considerable amount of medals and trophies.

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