Enslin family lead Australia to rifle world titles

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Bundaberg Region father and son, Darren and Dean Enslin, have captained their respective teams to world championship victories at an international competition in New Zealand.

The Enslin family from Apple Tree Creek were also represented by Darren's wife Gillian as part of the squad which went to Upper Hutt north of Wellington.

Dean Enslin captained the Australian under 25 team to a world championship.
Dean Enslin captained the Australian under 25 team to a world championship.

The Australian Target Rifle Team swept the field, taking gold medals across all bar one of the individual and team categories, including the prestigious Palma Team Match (known as the America’s Cup of target rifle shooting).

The last time Australia held the Palma title was in 1988.

“This sport is all about discipline in making sure everything is aligned,” Darren said.

“Australia has always boasted elite shooters who ranked well in individual events, however we focused on developing alignment and integration through moulding our team while tightening coaching and mound procedures, which made the difference in our results this year.”

Darren took a different approach to team selection. In previous years, each event was represented by shooters from individual talent pools.

Gillian and Darren Enslin
Gillian and Darren Enslin celebrate Australia's world championship rifle shooting success.

This year, Darren selected a cross-representation of shooters who competed in multiple events, another first for the Australian team.

Additionally, the inclusion of younger shooters in team events boosted the overall success.

It's a fantastic result for the Enslin family after many years of incredibly hard effort and I'm very proud we have world champions among us — Mayor Jack Dempsey

Darren and Gillian have been long-standing members of the Australian Rifle Team since arriving from Zimbabwe in 2001.

Many countries participated in the New Zealand event including Australia, Great Britain, USA, South Africa, Canada, Channel Islands and individuals from countries including Japan.

Mayor Jack Dempsey congratulated the Enslin family on their success.

“It's a fantastic result for the Enslin family after many years of incredibly hard effort and I'm very proud we have world champions among us,” Mayor Dempsey said.

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