During the return flight from the 1974 Commonwealth Games in Christchurch, New Zealand, several shooters got together and agreed that the European Division of the Commonwealth would hold annual shooting Championships for all the Commonwealth Games shooting disciplines. The European Division consists of England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Isle of Man, Guernsey, Gilbraltar, Malta and Cyprus, as well as Jersey.
Scotland hosted the first Championships in September 1974 and they proved highly successful. England was nominated to host the 1975 Championships, but had to back out at the last minute. So that the impetus would not be lost, Jersey stepped into the breach and agreed to run them.
A smallbore rifle range was built in record time on private land at Val de La Mare and the Jersey Rifle Association rebuilt the 900 yard and 1,000 yard ranges at Les Landes, both being completed with just days to spare. The Jersey Championships were a great success, both for the competitors and the organising committee, who had received invaluable help from the Jersey Commonwealth Games Association.
In 1976 and 1977, funds were raised to help Jersey Teams travel away to the Championships and in 1978 Jersey hosted them once more, using the same facilities as in 1975.
In 1979 the Jersey Shooting Federation was formed as an umbrella organisation, to improve the co-ordination between the various independent associations responsible for one or more of the Commonwealth Games shooting disciplines.
The JSF has 2 principal aims: to host Commonwealth Shooting Federation (European Division) Championships, whenever it is Jersey’s turn; and to raise funds for, and to organise the participation of, a Jersey Team in any CSF Championships, wherever they are held.
Since the JSF’s formation, the European Division Championships have been held in Jersey in 1984, 1991, 1996, 2003 & 2007. The ‘91 Championships were particularly successful for Jersey, who came a strong second in the medal table, only being beaten by England.
In 1995, the first world-wide CSF Championships were held in New Delhi. Malaysia hosted them in 1997 and New Zealand in 1999, England in 2001 & Australia in 2005. Perhaps, one day, Jersey will be able to hold them; in the meantime the JSF will be making every effort to send worthy Teams to participate in these “World” Championships as well as the European events.
The JSF affiliated Associations are:
The Jersey Rifle Association, the Jersey Clay Target Shooting Association, the Jersey Smallbore Shooting Association and the Jersey Pistol Association.
Archery is also a Commonwealth Games sport and the JSF would like to acknowledge the enthusiasm and invaluable help of the Jersey Archery Society in staging Celebrity SuperShot.
The JSF always contributes a substantial proportion of the money it raises through Celebrity SuperShot to really worthwhile local charities. Since 2008 it has been supporting the Jersey and Guernsey Hospices, which provide an immensely valuable service with great skill and love.
For many years the JSF supported Channel Island Air Search. This well-run organisation is believed to be the only charity that is entirely based and managed in the Channel Islands and serves all of the Islands (and Normandy). It is a voluntary organisation providing a dedicated, quick-response, search facility as part of the Islands’ rescue services and is also available for location and identification of dangers to navigation and of floating pollution.
In the 5 years to the end of 2008, it carried out no less than 118 operations to locate distressed mariners. It recently improved its effectiveness still further by installing a Forward Looking Infra-Red detecting system on its aircraft “Lions Pride”, at a total cost of £150,000. This very sensitive equipment has greatly improved their ability to rapidly locate a person in the sea, especially in conditions of poor visibility.
The service celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2005 and was honoured to receive the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service.