Luke Mok (17) of Parktown Boys’ High School never believed he would make it to the South African Championships for Shooting because of his use of a spring powered rifle. However, his aspirations became a reality this month when he was invited to compete in the South African Championships in October.
Following a series of competitions this season, Luke was selected as part of the top 25 by the Gauteng School Shooting Union (GSSU) to attend the championships.
Luke was taught by this grandfather to shoot from the age of seven and chose to attend Parktown High to learn how to compete in the school league.
“I was disappointed when I came to Parktown because I thought I would be able to go to SA Champs but there were never enough people using spring rifles to make up a team,” explained Luke.
He attributes much of his success to the training he received from Parktown matric learner, Ben Clarke and coach Jason Brookstein.
Luke attends practices with shooters at Hoërskool Florida and shoots in his backyard at home and on the Parktown school premises.
“I get a mini-rush when I get to shoot at a target.”
This is the first time he has made it to the SA Championships and aims to achieve SA colours by making it to the top 10 in the springer division.
Luke won the Lion trophy for achieving first place in the Gauteng springer division at the last GSSU league event.
“Just the opportunity to go to the SA Champs is good enough for me. If I don’t make it to the finals at SA Champs, I would like to try harder for next season.”
Luke dreams of going to the military after school, where there probably won’t be much time for pellet-gun shooting but he believes the skills he has learned through the sport will stand him in good stead.
Parktown Boys’ High School headmaster, Malcolm Williams said, “We are very proud of Luke who spends a lot of his personal time practising. To go to nationals is a tremendous achievement. Shooting is a valued niche sport at Parktown and I hope he will receive awards internally after the championships.”
The SA Championships take place from 1–7 October in Newcastle, KwaZulu-Natal.