A Gerogery horse trainer is being trained by two of the nation's best in his bid to compete in the Olympics for air pistol.

IN TRAINING: Gerogery horse trainer Alamdar Dastani hopes to set up an indoor air pistol shooting range so he can train for the Olympics in the event. Picture: MARK JESSER
IN TRAINING: Gerogery horse trainer Alamdar Dastani hopes to set up an indoor air pistol shooting range so he can train for the Olympics in the event. Picture: MARK JESSER

A specialty shipping container shooting range could be the key to cementing Alamdar Dastani’s chances at bringing Olympic gold home to the Riverina.

IN TRAINING: Gerogery horse trainer Alamdar Dastani is training to compete in air pistol in the next Olympics and hopes a shipping container shooting range will be approved so he can get practising. Picture: MARK JESSER

IN TRAINING: Gerogery horse trainer Alamdar Dastani is training to compete in air pistol in the next Olympics and hopes a shipping container shooting range will be approved so he can get practising. Picture: MARK JESSER

The Gerogery endurance horse trainer has been competing in air pistol for only 14 months, but has two of Australia’s best in the sport mentoring him.

To meet his daily training requirement of four hours, he floated the idea with Greater Hume Council of setting up his own world-class shooting range in a shipping container.

Dastani, now with council’s blessing, will seek approval from the NSW Police Firearms Registry to construct the 10-metre range.

“My first state-level competition was at the Victoria state titles, held last March, and I won the gold medal in my division,” he said.

“My closest club is the Hume Pistol Club, and the other two clubs are Wagga or Yackandandah.

“I’m a professional horse trainer, so after training 130 horses, travelling to those clubs takes up a lot of my time.

“Hence the reason why I’ve put forward the idea of a completely legal indoor shooting range in a shipping container.”

Plywood 1.5 inches think will be installed at the back of the container with a pellet catcher, a sound-absorbing system preventing pellets from falling on the floor.

Dastani passed around the pellets he uses for training, weighing less than a gram and “unable to penetrate a coffee mug”, at the Greater Hume Council meeting last week.

He was met with an overwhelmingly positive reception – from councillor Tony Quinn particularly. 

“I think it could be a great showcase for the shire, if down the track he can get one of those medals around the neck,” he said.

Council’s conditions of approval included the recycling of all pellets and the cease of shooting between 6pm and 8am Monday to Saturday.

Dastani, who discovered his talent after a family friend invited him to the Hume Pistol Club, will aim for the 2020 Olympics and 2022 Commonwealth Games.

“I had never handled a hand-gun in my life …. it was really amazing,” he said.

“Later on, I got introduced to Australian gold medalist Bruce Quick.

“I went to Wagga, he loaned me his air pistol and he said ‘We can get you somewhere’.

“He took me under his wing as a coach and training hasn’t stopped since.”

Dastani said Quick and his other coach, Dina Aspandiyarova, were of the opinion a podium could be in reach.

“I have always been a very competitive person,” he said.

“I’m looking forward to bringing more prestige to the Border area.”