ON TARGET: Tinana couple Marion and Rodney Faint are volunteering at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in shooting.
ON TARGET: Tinana couple Marion and Rodney Faint are volunteering at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in shooting. JOY BUTLER

Tinana family volunteers at Commonwealth Games

THE duo have a 50-year history with the sport of shooting, and this year, they have traded their athlete uniforms for those of the volunteers alongside the world's best marksmen.


For Rodney, who completed prerequisite training at the Oceanic Shooting Federation Championships in November last year, it's not the first time he's volunteered at an elite level.

"I volunteered for the Olympic games in 2000," he said.

Back then, the process was the same and he volunteered at the International Shooting Sport Federation World Cup in the lead up to Sydney Olympic Games.

"Which was sort of a mandatory thing all the volunteers had to do for the Olympics," he said.

"When I heard the Commonwealth Games was coming here I was well aware of what was involved.

"The articles kept coming through from the Rifle and the Pistol Association and so I knew to keep an eye out beforehand.

"Then they started advertising on TV and everywhere else.

"So, we just logged into the internet as indicated on all their advertisements and away we went from there."


Prior to volunteering, Rodney and Marion were avid competitors and Rodney still does.

"I've been on the Australian team for about nine years," Rodney said.

"I competed at the Oceania Games in 93, 95 and 97.

"We, both in our younger years, contested international teams and Australian teams.

"Marion and myself travelled around Australia contesting all the elimination series."

Thus, unlike other volunteers, who just put in their application and hoped for the best, Rodney and Marion only applied for shooting.

"We didn't just put a selection of other sports," Rodney said.

"It was shooting or not at all."

According to Rodney and Marion, the sport has made more changes in the past five years than almost in its entire history, and today, is a much more popular, spectator friendly sport.

"Once upon a time they were just paper targets, as you can imagine, even back in the 2000 Olympics," Rodney said.

"But in recent years... the world has gone electronic with target shooting.

"There are no paper targets any more, it's all electronic, you're actually shooting at a black image that looks like a target face.

"The ones at the Commonwealth Games are now laser.

"It's a laser grid and you basically shoot through the laser grid."


Marion said the rifles and pistol equipment had undergone dramatic changes.

"You still use ammunition, but it works with a microphone."

There is no longer the need for spotting scopes as the digital technology allows for the audience to see the results immediately, even before the athlete.

"So, it's a lot more visual and they did all this for TV of course, to make it a bit more of a public spectator sport," Rodney said.

Rodney and Marion will join their two children in Brisbane and on the Gold Coast this month.

Their son Kim Faint and daughter Sally Faint, who grew up and went to school in Maryborough, are also volunteering at the games.