Maureen Shepherd, a resident of Beauty Point Retirement Resort for the past seven years and a champion rifle shooter, was a baton bearer for the Commonwealth Games opening earlier this year.
When asked what it felt like to run with the Commonwealth Games baton, Maureen says: “It was great. I was pretty nervous because I didn’t know what to expect. Some people from the resort came to watch and all my family came which was fantastic.”
“It was quite an honour,” Maureen adds. “You have to go through a long selection process as well as security process, so I was very lucky to do it.”
Shooting as a sport runs in the family
Maureen says she’s always loved rifle shooting as her father was a champion shooter: “I grew up more or less on a rifle range,” she laughs. “My daughter’s in the Brisbane team now and my grandson started the day he turned 12 so it definitely runs in the family!”
Maureen joined the NSW Ladies State Rifle Team which was established in 1967. “We shoot 7.62 rifles. Women weren’t allowed to be full members at first but now we are.”
Even though she’s now older in years, Maureen says she still shoots for the women’s team if they’re short: “I still compete on Saturdays. I’m often the reserve.”
She’s also been working as the coach for the Brisbane Women’s team as their State Championships are coming up soon. Previously, she coached a NSW team against a Scottish team, and she adds: “The NSW team won!”
It’s a lifelong passion
Maureen admits she’s given up a lot of other things so she could achieve excellence in her passion for shooting. “It’s been my work and my passion all at the same time. I’ve travelled all over Australia with it,” she adds.
She emphasises there are very strict regulations concerning the sport to keep it safe for everyone concerned: “…it’s one of the best sports you can be involved in – and it’s one of the safest!”
“I’ve met the best people from all walks of life. It’s just a great sport,” she says.