Long-time Yass clay target shooter Matt Patmore has added further titles to his list of achievements, overcoming chronic injuries from his 1998 motorcycle accident that continue to plague him during competitions.
The most recent wins came at the NSW Clay Target Association (CTA) State Carnivals in December 2016. Patmore secured the championships in the double rise and single barrel, as well as captained the West Wyalong club to a team win.
In August 2016, he was the first non-American and first Australian to win the Grand American National Trap Shoot in Illinois, US. Before that, he was victor in the New Zealand single riser event. He also took out the AA high-gun win at the 2016 Victoria State Trap Carnival in November.
My doctor and I’ve always been joking about how we could not remember how many times he’s operated on me. He’s worked on me that much over the years.- Matt Patmore
At the NSW State Carnivals, the wins did not come easy. The tibia (shinbone) in his lower right leg was fractured one week before the competition.
“It cracked about 3.5 inches. When it wasn’t settling down, I realised it was a bigger problem than first thought,” he said. Patmore, however, still wanted to take part in the competition.
“For one of the events, I took a chair out of my ute to sit down, when it wasn’t my turn, to get the weight off,” he said. He had a similar problem with his hip during the US competition, but he and friends stayed positive by using humour.
“It was like someone had put a nail in my hip. My friends and I joked about getting through each day with the fewest number of steps. Obviously, zero would’ve been ideal. I could’ve sat in the golf cart all day.”
He also keeps it light with his knee reconstructions. “My doctor and I’ve always been joking about how we can’t remember how many times he’s operated on me. He’s worked on me that much over the years,” Patmore said.
While the physical injuries continue to cause pain every so often, Patmore says clay target shooting alleviates him of mental health issues.
“It’s a mental and creative outlet that allows not only me to move on with my life, but also others in similar situations. When I was in Canberra last time for practice, there were two guys there in wheelchairs—all three of us are from motorbike accidents.”
Patmore said the sport allows them to not be pigeonholed into categories. “We can go to any shooting club and compete, it’s an inclusive sport,” he said.
Patmore says he still has much more to achieve—a drive that is not merely from the desire for more ribbons, but from a passion for the sport itself. “To shoot in three countries—the US, NZ and Australia—and win major titles in each, that is highly satisfying,” he said.
In the short term, he is preparing for the National Trap Championships on March 25–April 2 at the National Shooting Grounds in Wagga. “After that, we’ll keep on going to more competitions.”
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