Shooting a ‘rich man’s game’By Artemio T. Engracia Jr.
Philippine Daily Inquirer
LONDON—Shooting is a very expensive sport. And that’s the reason very few Filipinos excel in it.
“It’s a rich man’s game,” said Richie Garcia, chair of the Philippine Sports Commission, from the stands as he watched the action on the first day of qualifying rounds of the skeet shooting event in the 30th Olympic Games here on Monday.
Garcia should know. He’s the head of the government agency that provides funding for national sports associations, including that of shooting.
Recently, the PSC paid P3 million for an electronic target in pistol shooting. In the sports world that’s being taken over by technology, paper targets won’t do anymore.
And Brian Rosario, the Philippines’ lone shooter here, can’t even use that because his targets are different.
He shoots clay pigeons in skeet shooting where he qualified for the Games.
Skeet shooting alone is a very expensive proposition. Skeet involves shooting clay targets with a shotgun from seven positions around a semicircle. The green and orange colored targets, which used to be brown and called clay pigeons, are launched by a mechanism called traps from houses on both ends of the semicircle.
The targets alone are quite expensive, according Garcia.
The PSC supports the Philippine National Shooting Association by providing the targets, the ammunition and the trap mechanisms installed in a shooting range inside the compound of the New Bilibid Prisons in Muntinlupa. In wealthier counties, shooters can practice all day.
The athletes, however, buy their own guns. Rosario bought his for $3,000, but the top-of-the-line shotguns can go as high as $6,000, says Garcia. That’s three times the country’s annual income per capita.