Shooter on fire
By GREGOR MACTAGGARTmactaggartg@gladstoneobserver.com.au
THE REVERED Australian green and gold will be donned for the first time by Gladstone Air Pistol shooter Julie Dunks when she aims up at next month's Oceania Games in Brisbane.
One of Queensland's leading sharp-shooters, Dunks has been rewarded with a debut national call-up for her consistency in 2005.
She currently holds the South-East Queensland, Murrumba Open and Gladstone Open titles and will line-up for Australia in the Women's 10 metre Air Pistol event.
Dunks believes she is ready to fire at the Games and excited at the prospect of wearing the green and gold.
'I am a bit nervous, but am all set to go,' Dunks said.
'I have just got to get my head around the nerves, because if I shoot at my best I should perform well.'
Dunks said she was 'surprised' to get the Aussie call-up when an invitation arrived in the mail last month.
'It was a big surprise to get the invitation in the mail, I definitely wasn't expecting it.
'To be invited to the Oceania's is a great honour and it is going to be great to represent Australia,' she said.
A major confidence boost for Dunks is the fact the Games are being held at the Belmont Range, a venue she shoots well at.
'It is a shame the Games are in Brisbane and not New Zealand from a travel point of view, but to have them at Belmont is nice.
'I know the range very well and the people down there so that will ease the nerves I am sure,' she said.
At this stage, Dunks is unsure about the opposition she will face in the Games, but is using that as an asset in her preparation.
'We (Australia) is one of the strongest countries in the region, but I don't know what to expect from the other girls.
'I think that is a good thing though because it stops you going in complacent,' she said.
The Games' start on October 31 and runs until November 5.