The history of the creation of firearms is closely related to the invention of gunpowder. In the second half of the XIII century gunpowder was brought to Europe, and was immediately used in battles. The first examples of firearms were primitive cannons. Over time, their size was reduced so that the cannon could be lifted and carried in the hands of one person. The so-called hand cannons appeared. Earlier shotguns were loaded from the muzzle. Round balls of stone, then of iron or lead were used as projectiles.
Weapons and cartridge design was constantly being perfected, until it finally acquired the modern look we have today.
Shooting is a difficult sport. The shooter required to not only perfect their technique, but also the ability to control their emotions. Shooting sports helps to develop perseverance, composure and patience in a person.
The first documented shooting competitions were held in 1432 in the German city of Augsburg. It is known that in Switzerland since 1452, there was the first tournament which later became the country’s championship in shooting from all types of sports weapons.
National shooting championships are held: in England – since 1860, in France – since 1864, in USA – since 1873.
In 1896, rifle and pistol shooting competitions were included in the Olympic Games program. World championships first started in 1897,
In 1907, the International Union of National Shooting Federations and Associations was created. Since 1998 it has been operating under the name of the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF).
Development of shooting sports in Belarus
The United system of General Military Training (Vsevobuch) appeared in the 1920’s and became an important component in shooting sports . Workers of Minsk, Vitebsk, Mogilev, Gomel and other Belarusian cities took part in the events of Vsevobuch. Shooters could improve their qualifications in the shooting ranges of the Belarusian physical culture and sports society “Dinamo”, established in 1923.
In 1927, the Union Society Friends of Defense and Aviation-chemical Construction (Osoaviakhim) of the BSSR was formed, preparation in which allowed to receive initial shooting training. Shooting sport was included in the all-Union complex “Prepared for Labor and Defense”. In 1932 the USSR Osoaviakhim approved the Regulations on the “Voroshilovsky shooter” badge. In 1934, more than 25 thousand Belarusian amateur athletes became Voroshilov shooters.
opening of schools
After the end of WW2, facilities, shooting ranges and sections were opened in educational institutions of the BSSR. In 1946, Brest and Grodno opened shooting sections in sport schools. Grodno opened a sports branch under the name of”Dinamo”.
In 1951, the Assisting Voluntary Society to the Army, Aviation and Navy (DOSAAF) of the BSSR was formed. It supported the formation of a shooting sports club, which opened in Minsk in 1966. In 1970 a children’s and youth technical school in shooting sports appeared.
In the 1970s in Minsk, a sports and shooting complex named after Marshal S. Timoshenko was build with the help of specialists from the paramilitary construction.
Shooting sports grew the fastest in the Brest, Grodno and Minsk regions.
The shooting range of the Brest Regional Complex Center of the Olympic Reserve is included in the list of facilities built on the initiative of the President of the Republic of Belarus. The center hosts an annual international tournament named after Vladimir Khotko, who for a long was the head of this institution.
The Grodno shooting school is considered one of the best not only in Belarus, but also in the world – it is no coincidence that Grodno strives to become the “shooting sport capital of the country”. Republican and international competitions are held here, including the annual Open Cup of the Republic of Belarus in memory of Viktor Torshin and a championship in memory of the honored coach of the USSR and the Republic of Belarus Boris Grinya.
Shooting sports schools opened in Borisov, Slutsk, Maryina Gorka and other cities of the Minsk region.
A modernized sports and shooting complex named after V.I. Marshal S. Timoshenko in Minsk opened opened its doors in 2019. The equipment of the complex meets all modern ISSF standards, which allowing it to international tournaments, such as the 2nd European Games.
- Igor Basinsky is a four-time Olympic medalist, multiple winner and medalist of the World and European Championships. Honored trainer of the Republic of Belarus. He was awarded the Medal for Labor Merit and the Badge of Honor. One of the most titled athletes of the Republic of Belarus
- Yuri Dolgopolov is the record holder of Belarus, the winner of the European Championships and the World Cup.
- Lolita Evlevskaya – medalist of the 2000 Olympic Games, European champion, medalist of world championships
- Vitaly Bubnovich is an international master of sports of the Republic of Belarus, a participant in four Olympic Games (2004-2016), a silver medalist at the 2014 World Championship, medalist at the 2016 and 2017 European Championship.
- Olga Tretyak – champion and medalist of the World championship, European champion.
The development of shooting sports is given increased attention by the Armed Forces of the Republic of Belarus. The agency is part of the International Military Sports Council (IMSC, French Conseil International du Sport Militaire, CISM), which unites military athletes from 133 countries.
The public association “Belarusian Shooting Sports Federation” is a member of the ISSF. The Federation, in addition to the development and popularization of shotgun and sport shooting in Belarus, issues licenses for repair, restoration and export of sporting and hunting weapons to international competitions, as well as oversees the acquisition/sale of sporting and hunting weapons and ammunition.
- Ilya Chergeiko – European champion, world championship medalist
- Yuri Shcherbatsevich – European champion, medalist of the World and European Championships
- Sergey Martynov – Olympic champion in 2012, bronze medalist of the 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games, multiple world and European champion. One of 132 athletes who participated in the Olympic Games 6 times (1988 and 1996–2012). 6 times over the course of 15 years repeated the world record (600 points) in 50m rifle shooting prone position ( 1997, 1998, 2000, 2005, 2006, 2012)
- Victoria Chaika is an international master of sports of the Republic of Belarus. Participant of three Olympic Games (2004, 2008, 2012), European champion in 2010, medalist of World championship.