Thursday, April 18, 2024

She’s a ‘top shotter’


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by MARLON MADDENFrom a child growing up, this shooter was always keen on handling and firing a gun – and for good reason. And, she plans to keep shooting until she “can’t see or walk”.  Today, Jennifer Jordan-Cousins, 34, one of just a few female professional shooters in Barbados, trains with the Barbados Rifle Association Club (BRA). She is also a lance corporal with the Barbados Defence Force (BDF).  Jennifer, who practises full bore and .22 shooting, said she started shooting as a hobby because of her great love for the sport.  “Honestly, while growing up, I wanted to be a policewoman or a soldier, but I got to be the latter.  I got into shooting from the time I joined the army.
“Someone there realised I had potential and . . . I was encouraged to join the Barbados Rifle Association. So it started from there. That was in 1996.” The Farmers Tenantry, St Thomas resident said that over the years she had got to “use various guns and ammunitions”, but her favourite was the rifle.  “A rifle makes me feel more woman. The rifle gives me a better thrill. I think because when using the rifle you have to read the wind and mirage,” she added.  However, Jennifer pointed out that use of such a tool was no walkover, as in full bore shooting there were a few things to pay special attention to.  “Usually there are flags on the poles, and you watch what direction they are blowing in; and on the guns you have an elevation and a windage bar.  “The elevation is for when you are going back and the windage is for what you see out there on the flag [the direction it is blowing in], and you have to set the bars to suit. I use this gun lying down.”
Jennifer said rifle shooting was a challenging sport, “but my family gives me all the support I need”. The young shooter has been competing in major championships and other competitions around the world for a number of years. In 1997 she first competed at the 128th Imperial meeting of the National Rifle Association in England where she won a bronze medal   From Page 8 for her 500-metre range shooting.  “I travelled and competed in Guyana and Trinidad, and I also went to Canada and competed in the [Palma] World Long-Range Championship. I was the only female for the Caribbean and the only Caribbean person to get a medal. I got a bronze medal at 800 metres,” recalled Jennifer, noting that her favourite shooting distances were the 500 and 900 range.
Jennifer loves shooting so much that she basically “lives on the range”, and she has no other hobbies.  “Once I am able to get here [at the BRA] Saturdays and Sundays, I will be here. It is only now that I have taken a little break after the last competition we had. But usually I live on the range on Saturdays and Sundays.  “I am very competitive because when I go to shoot, my one aim is to be dead centre. I want to go on shooting till I can’t see nor walk, because this sport, no matter how old you are, you can do it till you are not able to do it any more.”  When Jennifer is not shooting at the range, or is not at work, she may be found relaxing at home with a book on espionage. And on occasion she has time for an action film.
Jennifer said some people were of the mindset that shooting was not a sport, but she disagrees totally. In fact, she wishes it would get more recognition; and she is rooting for it, because it’s no men’s sport.  “Women,” she says, “can do it just as well.”


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