Posted by Patrick (126.96.36.199) on January 23, 2009 at 09:29:52:
I was hoping for more of a discussion, but it seems to be a low response. Oh well. You can lead a horse to water...
I'll give my thoughts, but please note that I am not on the match committee. I help out whenever possible as a volunteer and donate space for their website. So, this is a personal opinion and doesn't represent the CAGP.
It seems that price is mentioned a couple of times, so let me address that. First and foremost, the event is held in a large hotel ballroom, with several additional rooms for reception, equipment check, scoring, administration, vendors and shooting. It is a lot of space, which the match committee has to pay for. Our associations don't own it, so we're acquiring from a for-profit corporation. It isn't cheap.
That being said, the venue is unique for a shooting match in North America. I'm not aware of such an expansive, comfortable, warm (during winter) and sociable venue that compares. This isn't held in a grungy range, nor in a curling rink. This is in a modern facility with clean washrooms, comfortable chairs, space to hang out with friends and ready access to restaurants and bars. In North America, it is beyond compare, and that costs money.
Second, the event is Canadian and North American. It really can't be compared to what happens in Europe. If that were the case, we'd also have to compare our local shooting facilities, federations, etc. We don't have the same number of participants as in Europe. If we did, the match cost would be lower, because the total cost would be spread out among the greater volume of participants. And remember, travel to Toronto, for the most part, is less expensive than to Germany, especially if you live within a few hours drive.
From what I understand, the event isn't being run as a profit generator. The end goal isn't about making money, but about providing a significant competitive experience to shooters. It is about delivering a Eurpoean-style big event for folks that can't afford $2000 to shoot a few matches across the ocean. Yes, it may be more money than the local matches, but this isn't a local match. It is an ISSF Grand Prix.
For the average match that people here shoot, how many of you, aside from international competitors, shoot with 70 other competitors on the line? Probably none.
This is an experience that allows anyone to participate safely and gain valuable competitive experience that will make them better shooters. That's worth a whole lot of money, which the registration fee doesn't even come close to touching.
I haven't shot it in a few years, because my focus has been on coaching. I'll be shooting the event this year, to dust off those competitive mental cobwebs, as well as supporting a truly important Canadian shooting event.
As a community, we need the Canadian Airgun Grand Prix more than the registration fee. For 27 years, it has been the premier North American airgun event, supporting competitive shooting. Now, it needs your support. I hope to see lots of friends, new and old, at the range.
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