After gold medal success at the Rio Olympic Games, sports shooting has seen a growth in popularity across Australia.

At the recent games, Australia took home two gold medals for events involving shooting.

Catherine Skinner won in a tense shoot off to claimed the Women’s Trap title, while Chloe Esposito excelled in the pistol shooting section to win the Modern Pentathlon.

Executive Director of New South Wales branch of the Sports Shooting Association of Australia (SSAA), Diana Melham, said there was always a spike in interest every four years.

“With any Olympic Games, it always inspires a new generation of people.”

In a bid the capitalise of this success in Rio, the SSAA and Berretta Australia have launched a new social media campaign, called #Iamashooter.

The campaign wants people to share images through social media with that hashtag, providing an insight into the lives of sports shooters.

It was launched earlier this year with a billboard in Melbourne’s West Gate Freeway featuring Ms Skinner.

She hopes her success in Rio will change the perception of sports shooting in Australia.

“We do use it for a genuine sport. It is a skilled sport. You don’t understand how difficult it is and how mental this sport is.” she told the 774 ABC Melbourne after her win.

The campaign has had a good response, with people sharing photographs from across the country.

“We’ve had a number of people showing their support and uploading photos of them participating in the different shooting sports.” said Ms Melham

The interest comes as discussion grows over the possibility of a gun amnesty being introduced, similar to what occurred in 1996.

“It’s really important that we inform the community around our sport, how safe it is, how highly regulated we are

“If we can have champions out there promoting our sport in such a positive way. It sends a great message about the sport,” Ms Melham said.

Sports shooting has also seen interest from people with disabilities after recent efforts at the Paralympics.

While there were no medals won for Australia, Rio was the last Paralympics for shooter Libby Kosmala.

Over the span of the 12 games, Ms Kosmala had won as many medals for shooting including nine gold.

Ms Melham said it was a sport for people of any abilities.

“Unlike other sports where you have to modify the rules, with our shooting competitions, we don’t

“And for that very reason, we have a number of shooters with disabilities who participate in the sport.”

[box type=”shadow” align=”aligncenter” ]Article written by Margaret Whitehouse. It first appeared on the ABC News Website.[/box]

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