There will be a hint of nerves, a lot of excitement, but it will mainly be pride coursing through Acacio Mota when he pulls on the Victorian uniform next month.
The 15-year-old has been named in Victoria’s team to compete at the Australian Clay Target Shooting Association national championships and the World Down The Line Championships in Wagga Wagga.
“It feels really good to be able to represent your own state,” Mota said.
“It would be a good accomplishment to win a title with the other two in my team.”
Mota will enter the two major events in stellar form.
The Werribee Victorian Clay Target Club young gun just took the South Australian state titles by storm, returning with five titles.
He claimed victories in the AA grade champion of champions, junior high gun champion of champions, junior double rise, junior single barrel and junior high gun competitions.
Mota was thrilled to produce his best form under pressure in a major tournament.
“It was great to win there,” he said.
“I was nice and confident.
“I really wanted to win and show everyone how good that I can be.”
Mota enjoys the camaraderie with all the other shooters.
It’s competitive in the heat of battle, but friendly out of the competition.
There is no better buzz for the Werribee resident than when he hits a target.
“It’s real competitive, but I enjoyed shooting with my friends and all the other shooters from around Australia,” he said.
“It’s fun shooting a target and when you hit it perfectly and it just disappears, everyone goes ‘whoa’.
“The crowd loves it.”
Mota, who attends MacKillop College in Werribee, started his sports shooting career from an early age.
He was introduced to the sport by his dad, Paul, who was also a competitive shooter.
Paul has been Mota’s coach ever since.
“When I was 11, he took me out for a shoot in Frankston to have a go at this event called skeet, I tried it and I liked it and as soon as I turned 12 I got my gun licence and started shooting from then,” Mota said.
“He gives me lots of confidence and encouragement, and he believes in me.
“He knows I can win and he knows I can do it.”