Christmas greetings to all our readers here at Philippine Asian News Today! From the ReyFort Media Group to yours, we wish you all the best in 2017.
As promised, Downrange with Dean Guzman continues, this time with an exciting article about an up and coming Filipino-Canadian shooting superstar, 16-year-old ROJIN ALTARES of Fort McMurray, Alberta.
I had the good fortune of the meeting Rojin almost four years years ago in the 2013 International Practical Shooting Confederation (IPSC) B.C. provincials match here in Pitt Meadows. We’ll jump right into this!
Dean Guzman: At what age did you begin shooting? And how did you end up getting into competitive shooting?
Rojin Altares: I was six when I first shot a handgun. I was 11 when I started competing, and I got into this because of my dad, Romel Altares. He’s been shooting IPSC before I was even born. Everybody says I was basically born and raised on a shooting range and that it would not be a surprise if and when I start shooting, I’d be great at it. And now I’m here (just turned 16) and have already won three Alberta Open Top Lady and Junior and 1 Canadian Top Lady. This year, I got sponsored by Trenton Sukovieff – Pro Performance Shooting [TSPPS]. During the fire here in Fort McMurray, I had the opportunity to train with Trent in Calgary all summer and I was able to train to the best of my ability. Over the span of two months, I was able to compete in the Canadian Nationals in Halifax, USPSA [United States Practical Shooting Association] Production Nationals in Illinois, and the Latin American Handgun Championship in Colombia.
DG: What’s your advice to people who’d like to start in this sport?
RA: My advice would be just to keep training hard and keep at it! It is not easy to be competitive in this sport and be able to keep up with the top guys, but it’s definitely something worth all your effort because it does pay off in the end, and if you don’t try, then you will never know what your potential could have brought you.
DG: What have you learned in competitive shooting that you can most certainly apply in ‘life’?
RA: Not give up and to always try new things because if you don’t, you will never know if you could have been great and in life, it’s the same thing, if you don’t try something, say ‘a sport’ that you like – you don’t want to try it because you’re either afraid of failing or just don’t want to embarrass yourself. But I have learned to always try even if I have to take a risk and fail, I will always try because I’m that kind of person. I need to know if I could have been great at something or not.
DG: When doing competitive shooting, what are some pointers can you give to a beginner?
RA: The best tip I can give is – to always see more of your sights. To get deeper into your sights and become one with your sights because if you don’t see enough or if you are not deep enough, then I notice your shooting becomes sloppy and uncontrolled. But when you follow this advice, everything calms down and you become so much more focused and your shooting looks a lot smoother and becomes very controlled. This is really my only best advice because you can only pull the trigger as fast as you can see your sights. Accuracy is speed. And once you get seeing deep into your sights, you will SKYROCKET! Those are also the same exact words from my sponsor/trainer/coach.
DG: Well, thank you, Rojin, I think I just learned something really important here. Briefly, please list down some your accomplishments to help inspire our readers and future shooting competitors:
RA: When I was 11, my very first Alberta Provincials, I won the Ladies Overall and Juniors Overall. And in the next three years, again I won Ladies Overall and Juniors Overall at the Alberta Provincials & Qualifiers. When I was 13, my first time competing at the National level, I won the Canadian Nationals Ladies Overall. And this year, I was sponsored by TSPPS and I consider this such a big accomplishment and also, to be trained by Trenton who is an amazing shooter and a Canadian champion. With the training I have received, my performance level has definitely sky-rocketed which means I can only go up from here and I will only be progressing everyday I train and I’m so excited to see what shooting has in store for my future.
DG: Rojin, thank you very much. We wish you all the luck and warmest regards to your whole family. For the benefit of our readers who also shoot, what is your present competition gun?
RA: Thank you so much for featuring me on PNT. I’m very honoured to be able to share my story and thoughts to your readers! My goal is to be at least be one of the Top 20 of the best men and ladies in the world! When? I don’t know … but I know I will train very hard to be up there competing against the best. Right now, my competition gun is a CZ Shadow 75 SP-01 which puts me in the IPSC-Production category. It is a basic production gun, double-action pull, basically, all stock except the grips, had to use bigger ones because I feel I have more control using the bigger grips and that is my preference. I’m sponsored by Trenton and his company, TSPPS and they provide me with all my gear and ammunition. The thing I like about the CZ Shadow is its weight, it is a heavier gun which in my opinion helps a lot with the recoil and just balances everything a lot better. Once again, that’s just my preference.
We look forward to seeing you in the New Year with our coverage of the 2017 SHOT Show in Las Vegas and the next featured set of Filipino-Canadian shooting superstars. If you have comments, story tips, and/or questions, please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Downrange with Dean Guzman