A Brief History
During 1908, Captain E. Wright, Staff Officer of the Barbados Volunteer Force, a Shooting Enthusiast, sponsored the formation of "The Barbados Miniature Rifle Club" , which was the first affiliate to the Barbados Rifle Association - founded in 1904.
There was nothing miniature about the rifles as these were Long Martini action service rifles, to carry the .22 ammunition.
These clubs had been springing up all over the United kingdom and Empire with the help and encouragement of Governments concerned. The real sponsor was Lord Roberts, the Boer War hero, who saw them as a means of training civilians in the use of the rifle. Little did anyone then envisage the spectacular growth of small bore rifle shooting as an International Sport, involving millions of participants.
Captain Wright and members of the Barbados Rifle Association, constructed a .22 Range having one long firing point and butts at 25, 50 and 100-yards. The butts were situated beneath the cliff by the West India Barracks and occupied the area which now as the first of the large storage tanks of the Barbados Union Oil Company in 1919-1920. This Club flourished with a large membership which included a larger proportion of women.
In 1954 a Pistol section was added to the Club, and Barbados sent their first overseas competitors to the Commonwealth Games in Jamaica. In 1966, only three months prior to these games a 50-metre range was constructed at Drill Hall to enable our competitors to practice the "English Match" and "Free Pistol" event to be held over this distance. Milton Tucker and George Branker shot in the English Match while David Badley shot the Free Pistol event. It was evident from this first outing, that Barbados could produce shooters of International calibre.
Trinidad added shooting to the Southern Games, and at this first competition, Milton Tucker won the Silver Medal in the English Match against seasoned shooters from Venezuela, (which included the Silver Medallist in the Rome Olympics in 1960) and Puerto Rico.
Barbados sent one shooter, Milton Tucker to the Olympics in Mexico, who finished with a good score of 583x600 points. Tucker gained a wealth of experience during his experience and passed the information to his fellow colleagues, whose scores rapidly increased. An increase in membership followed.
The name of the Club was changed in 1970 , to "The Barbados Rifle and Pistol Club" , as pistol shooting was now well established. Membership in this section rapidly grew making the current facilities inadequate for both sections.
As this sport was not a spectator sport, it was envisaged that a considerable sum of money would be required to construct new ranges to cope with the ever increasing number of members, which was now approaching 100, and at the same time, to be built to International Shooting Union requirements, since we were not affiliated to this body.
The Chairman, Milton Tucker approached Mr. Marcel DeVerteuil requesting permission to construct these ranges on lands of the Stadium Corporation. The new ranges were constructed in 1971, with future plans to purchase and install electrically controlled turning targets, which were now being used at the Olympics and Pan American Games.
Two Shooters, Milton Tucker and Cavour Morris qualified for selection to the Munich Olympics, participating in the English Match, With Scores of 584 and 577 respectively.
The club continued to look towards regional competition in order to improve its standard and it is here that the Pan American Cup Shoot developed with co-founders Puerto Rico, Barbados and Trinidad. The name of this shoot was later changed to Copa Del Caribe and it grew in numbers and countries to a size that it could not be accommodated in Barbados.
In 1978 the club was able to send a team to the Commonwealth Games in Alberta. The team comprised of Cavour Morris, Anthony Kirton and Anthony Coward. In 1992, two representatives were selected to go to Mexico on a Coaching Clinic offered by the OAS Harry Babb and Cavour Morris attended this Clinic, although the lectures were in spanish they were able to be placed 2nd and 5th respectively from a class of forty-two entries. Both received Certificates of Merit.
The Club was determined to progress, it got permissions to run raffles in 1982 to raise funds to develop the Range which was now obviously too small.
In 1984 the Range was completed and with an inaugural opening by Mr. David Simmons, Q.C., M.P., Chairman of the National Sports Council.
The Club can now boast that it has easily one of the best all round Ranges in the Caribbean and even beyond. One of its major objectives is to develop shooting in the Caribbean in general, and especially among the youth at home, hence, our participation in the Duke of Edinborough Award Scheme.
To this end, continued progress is made yearly with the Cible D'Or Cup Shoot (another regional shoot co-founded by Barbados Rifle And Pistol Federation).