Gillian, recently 19, started clay pigeon shooting in June 2017. She is a member of the Wattle Springs Sport Shooting Club and the Clay Target Shooting Association of South Africa (CTSASA).
Gillian’s parents said “she took naturally to the sport in which we participated and after becoming reasonably proficient in the sport shooting discipline, she challenged herself at NSSA SKEET in December 2017. Her first score was a 4/25; this somehow drove her to perfect the discipline”.
Look into the eyes of Gillian and you know you are looking at a future world champion. The humility of Gillian and her preparedness to keep sacrificing will get her to the top of the global stage and ensure that she stays there for a long time.
The Maistry family bond is beautifully evident in the support of Gillian, this surely was the foundation of her self confidence. Gillian is hugely talented, but without the support and encouragement of a family unit, her talent could easily have gone undetected or wasted. Gillian will make her parents and South Africa proud.
In April 2018, after only 4 months of experience in Skeet, Gillian’s talent was noticed and she began formal coaching with the view of participating in the South African Grand in May 2018.
At the 2018 Grand Gillian shot 169/200. This achievement (described as modest by her parents), earned her bronze in the Junior category and bronze in the Team category.
Gillian’s first 12 months results strengthened her resolve to excel in the sport and she decided to shoot the circuit (all provincial standard championships) in order to have the best chance of progressing to the highest level.
Shooting in the CTSASA Standard Championships (internationally recognised) forms the basis of trials for South African Colours in NSSA Skeet.
The South African Grand is the final National competition and completes the season after the various Provincial Standard Competitions. To achieve Protea Colours in Skeet you have to shoot 92/100 as an average over 10 best scores, so 920/1000 as a minimum to qualify.
Below is a summary of Gillian’s results obtained over the season; a testament to her hard work, focus and determination to be the best.
Junior Gold medallist – Skeet (Overall Junior champion in South Africa),
Silver Team Medal for Central Gauteng,
Most improved Skeet shooter over the season, improving her average over 11% in 12 Months.
Needing 94/100 to achieve Protea colours, achieved this on the first day. Her final score was 925/1000.
Only the third female to achieve Protea Colours in Skeet and the first Junior female.
One of a few competitors to achieve South African Colours in the first season of participation.
Awarded Full South African colours and not only Junior Colours by achieving the minimum qualifying score for senior ladies.
Represented South Africa at the World Skeet Championships in San Antonio in September/October 2019, shooting 136/150 on debut.
Qualified for Provincial Colours and represented Central Gauteng in NSSA Skeet at the Chairman’s Cup. Gillian ended with a 139/150, improving her score from the World Championship. Recipient of a team Bronze Medal and shot her first 50 straight.
The Powder Keg has been pioneering in the space of getting new shooters taking up shooting; having Gillian choose Huglu was a perfect fit and privilege for us. Many shooters simply don’t try clay pigeon shooting because of an imaginary perception of high costs. The sport is not cheap, however “branded” shotguns the quality of a Huglu were only previously available in South Africa for 3 x the price. Huglu pricing makes shotgun shooting more affordable, and Huglu quality gets you competing at the highest level.
Below, gunsmith Craig Klintworth taking measurements to adapt the Huglu stock to perfectly fit Gillian in the discipline of NSSA Skeet.
“Shooters” of South Africa need ambassadors that will take the sport of shooting to all corners of our beautiful country, and to all persons irrespective of race or gender. Winning RWC 2019 proved again the bonds created in sport. Shooting, almost more than any other activity, needs more South Africans unified in the struggle against the non-logical application of gun laws and licensing inefficiencies. Don’t even venture into hunting where the ignorant, funded by lobbyists, will continue to have negative consequences over time.
Thanks Gillian for being the Ambassador that South African shooting desperately needs.
Briefly about Huglu. Over 100 years of building quality shotguns. 95% of the workers are shareholders in Huglu, and this shows in their quality. Huglu exports to over 50 countries (more than 20 countries in Europe). The majority of CZ branded shotguns in the USA are sourced from Huglu. The Powder Keg partnered with Huglu about 4 years ago when both parties recognised in each other common values and entered mutual exclusivity. Huglu fits perfectly into The Powder Keg strategy of wholesaling the highest value price-to-performance gear.
Together Huglu and The Powder Keg are proud sponsors of Gillian; we will continue to support South Africa’s future world champion in the Skeet discipline.