Bart Turgoose loves clay target shooting. So much so he has decided to make a business out of it while still at school.
That might sound impressive or ambitious, but it's easier to believe and appreciate when you realise he has form in this regard: The year 10 student at Horsham College, has run fishing bait business Worm King since he was 13.
He started up Bart's Clay Target Adventures in January, with which he eventually hopes to take groups on shooting trips once pandemic restrictions ease.
"I had been shooting for a while. When I was 12 years old I got my junior permit to be able to go shooting," he said, explaining how his latest venture came about.
"The following year I went target shooting around Natimuk and I absolutely loved it. There weren't a lot of people my age, so I shot for a couple of years until last year, when I felt like I wouldn't mind starting something to show the positives of the sport and what we're about.
"Normally I go with one other person, Richard Emerson, and every second weekend we're off to South Australia, and occasionally we will go to places like Timboon and Lang."
The sport involves setting up an outdoor course, where the shooter stands in a small cage and shoots at a clay target released when the shooter calls "Pull!". A hit scores one point, a miss zero. Bart hopes to get more women and juniors involved in the sport.
"I'm hoping by the end of next year or the start of 2022, I can get something going. Obviously we're not allowed to go shooting or travelling at the moment," he said.
"I'm sure a few people after lockdown will be looking for new activities, so hopefully clay shooting is one they might consider.
"I'm sponsored by the Sporting Shooters Association of Australia, I've got links to Field and Game Australia through a couple of the board members there and I'm coached by the world number one shooter Robert Hall.
"Robert's from Melbourne and does his own sporting clay coaching. Hopefully it means I have a few big names on board with the ideas I come up with."
Bart said his facebook post had generated interest from overseas
The 15-year-old is growing his businesses while also learning year 10 remotely. Though it sounds like he has his hands full, Bart said he kept his education and two businesses going by balancing out the hours in his day.
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"I just work with the time with I've got," he said. "I try and get up at a reasonable hour and get started on my schoolwork as early as possible, then have a bit of me-time for 40 minutes, then do a bit around the business side of things for a few hours, then go onto some more schoolwork.
"(Worm King) hasn't been super-duper falt out, but it hasn't been quiet either. If you've been allowed to go fishing, people have been doing that, so they have been buying worms or worm juice, which is fertiliser for your garden."
Bart also volunteers at Horsham's Maydale Showgrounds, and thanked the Agricultural Society for help with planning for his business ventures.
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