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Jake’s dream is to represent Australia

Manilla’s Jake Davey works long hours in his job as a diesel mechanic at Boggabri mines. And he loves it, simply because he can look forward to a run of days off and a trip to Delungra Rifle Range with his collection of firearms.

The 30-year-old competes in Metallic Silhouette covering the disciplines of small bore (100m competition), big bore (200m) and field pistol alongside his older brother and mining workmate, Tim Davey – “we spot for each other” Jake said.

The pair can currently boast sitting in fifth spot on the national standingsin their three favouritediscipines.

Jake’s dream is to shoot for his country, and he came one step closer to achieving that during 2019. At the completion of that year, he finished only one point shy of making the national team to travel to Sweden for the World Euro Championships.

Though after competing two out of every three weekends, Jake and Tim did qualify to accompany the 2020 NSW teamto Canberra for the National Championships, where they each came away with their fair share of trophies. “Out of the six matches over that weekend, I ended up being tied first place in the standing match, but came out second best in the shoot-off for the first-place trophy. The results from Canberra put us in a really good spot to start the year for points towards the national team, but Covid has interfered with that,” Jake said.

Jake is a member of the RSM Rifle Club at Inverell and currently uses the 200m Delungra range for as much practice as possible, just to “keep in the groove” of fitness.His favouritediscipline though is the small bore.

“It takesmore concentration with smaller targets, but you can have a lot of fun in the big bore where you get to shoot a bigger gun – the Wild Cat which makes a lot more noise. Some of the guns we have here have been specially made for the style of grips and the disciplines used. There are 10 different types of competitions you can shoot, so would need 10 different guns.”

“I’d love to shoot for Australia one day. It wouldn’t be at the Olympics as they don’t have our disciplines there, but we could qualify for high level competitions in the USA or Europe.”

Jake jokes that he isn’t yet a seasoned Manilla-ite – he’s only beenhere for 22 years. As an eight-year-old, Jake came to Manilla with his family from Camden where his grandad had a cattle farm. After completing all his schooling in Manilla, he left and obtained a diesel mechanic apprenticeship with Peel Valley Machinery in Tamworth where he stayed for the next seven years. From there, Jake did a stint in Gunnedah before joining Tamworth Regional Council as a diesel mechanic in the Manilla depot. Nearly five years ago, he joined the ranks of mining at Boggabri.

“While I was on council at Manilla, I met an older gentleman who had a big interest in shooting, so we joined the local club and travelled a lot doing Metallic Silhouette. The interest has all grown from there.”

Jake isn’t only a diesel mechanic-cum-shooter. He’s also a member of the local Fire Brigade, something he really enjoys – “they’re a great group of people and a very tightly-knit bunch”.

While he’s not elbow-deep in grease or looking down the barrel of a rifle, Jake enjoys time with his family – wife Erin, baby daughter Violet and three-year-old son Hudson.

“I love my fishing – I’ve got a boat here that hasn’t seen water since Covid started.” By Vinnie Todd