St. Croix Sportsman Club History and Medal Count
In 2008, 4 friends and shooters, Wayne Carson, Marcel Babineau, Steve Smith and Don Brown started the St. Croix Sportsman Club Youth Airgun Section in Wayne’s garage. With a lot of hard work and local promotion the club outgrew the garage and had to move twice before finding a home at the Boys and Girls Club. Many young athletes have gone through the club’s air gun program, at times the membership reaching 40 young shooters.
With the dream of teaching gun safety and training to the youth of Charlotte County no one could have imagined where it would lead. Soon the young athletes wanted bigger challenges so Don and Steve organized local Round Robins with the few other NB ranges where air gun training was offered, but this too the St Croix shooters soon outgrew. It wasn’t long before training started to lead up to the 2011 Winter Canada Games. There were a few qualifying matches around the province and finally a team was picked with one of the male air rifle shooter from our club being chosen as an alternate.
Also during this growing period a range in St John’s, Newfoundland was also growing and they came up with an idea about holding a yearly North Atlantic Championship, which would rotate among Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. In October 2011, 20 shooters gathered in St. Stephen for a weekend of shooting and fun as we hosted the Third Annual North Atlantic Airgun Competition. The 2012 was held in Newfoundland, then 2013 in Nova Scotia and 2014 in our new range back to St Stephen, NB.
By the end of the first weekend in 2011 there was one young lady who decided that this was only the beginning and arranged to go to the Canadian Grand Prix in Toronto in February 2012. The following year 2 more shooters went to the Grand Prix. The Nationals were also on the horizon for this shooter and she made the cut score for the National Team. Again the following year more joined her for the trip to Beachburg, Ontario.
Don has always been there beside his shooters any opportunity he could, and if he couldn’t go, he helped raise funds for the shooters to go to such places as Sydney Australia, Munich, Germany, Fort Benning, GA, Augusta, ME and Changwan, Korea to name a few, as well as NS and NL.
The St Croix Sportsman Club has been featured at the Charlotte County Fall Fair with shooting booths, and food or raffles of beautiful gift baskets. Members have put on various shooting demonstrations. Always right there in the front you’ll find Don and Steve working endless hours to make sure all went right for everyone.
Now the Town of St Stephen is promoting the fact that we have National and International Marksmanship training here. So to give you an idea of the wonderful talent the St Croix Sportsman Club has produced have a read through the following list to see the athletes who have come out of this tiny border town.
After a very successful Fall Fair which attracted new shooters, increasing the club’s membership to 55. Now Tuesday and Thursday is youth night and shortly after the fair we started Adult Shooters night on Wednesdays. We had a fun Halloween party complete with costumes and zombies. Then we hosted a Christmas party shoot where we invited our local hockey team The Aces. It was a success producing a very nice newspaper story combining to great sports. After that we had a Sweetheart Shoot for the adults along with awarding classification to 10 young shooter, who have now graduated to standing and using shooting jackets.