Champion lends a hand

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Clay pigeons were very much in danger when Waimate shooter Natalie Rooney spent time in Omarama last Friday. She was in town to help with a fundraiser for the Omarama School, taking aim with local gun enthusiasts who had paid to shoot alongside the Olympian. Rooney is fresh from winning gold at the International Shooting Sport Federation World Cup Final in Rome anda silver medal at the Olympics in Rio. She is using her down time to connect with family, friends and local communities before 2017 competitions begin. ‘‘I’m trying to have a bit of a break and get myself motivated again for the next 12 months,’’ she said. ‘‘I have a few competitions coming up — world cups and champs. It’s qualifying for the Commonwealth Games. I’m trying to take a break at the moment and feel refreshed and be hungry [for success] again next year.’’ Rooney said she enjoyed her day out on the Omarama course. ‘‘I don’t mind getting out and about helping communities. . . especially since it’s involving the sport I love and putting it out there.’’ Rooney followed her brothers into trap shooting when she wasa child, and stuck to a plan to get to the top of the sport she enjoyed most.