To say Liam Swart is a quick learner would be an understatement.
With just five months experience under his belt, the Napanee teen swept all nine sub-junior categories at the Provincial Trapshooting Association Championships, held last month in St. Thomas.
The event, which included some of the top trap shooters from across the province, sees competitors taking aim at plastic bird targets that soar through the air. So long as their shot hits any part of the target, it’s scored as a hit with the object being to hit as many targets as possible.
With scores of 350 targets hit (out of 400) and 883 (out of 1,000) respectively, he earned the high all around and high overall. He scored a 98 in singles, hitting his first 50 attempts.
“I’m pretty new to it,” Swart said of trap shooting. “I just got a hold of it pretty quickly.”
A member of the Napanee and District Rod and Gun Club, he says he only took up the sport when tagging along with his dad who was taking a firearms course.
“I had about nine people come up and ask if I’d like to shoot,” said Swart of the other members at the NDRGC. “Every single one them said I could use their gun. Everybody’s been amazing. They’ve just been helping out as much as they can with everything.”
He credits NRGC member Ken Holmes with being the first to show him how to trap shoot.
Heading into the provincial championships he say he wasn’t really sure what to expect. While some of the veteran competitors had trailers set up for all their equipment while he was using just a simple tent.
“It was that first morning that it really hit me,” he said upon arriving to the competition. “I just looked up and there was hundreds of cars lined up on the range, trap houses just lined up all the way down in the field.”
Impressed but not overwhelmed, Swart just focused on his task at hand and left with a clean sweep earning plaques, leather pouches and trophies for his efforts.
With several provincial titles to his name, he’s setting his sights on next year’s nationals, which will be held in Hamilton, Ont. Until then he’ll continue to hone his skills in with the Quinte Trap Club, training at the NDRGC.