Great Britain and Ireland compete against Australia for The Woomera in Match Rifle. The Great Britain Match Rifle Team (GBMRT) have competed for the Woomera eight times. On average, the competition occurs every three years, and alternates between Australia and the UK. The last match was held in 2019 at Bisley where GBMRT were victorious. Now, GBMRT are preparing for a visit to Australia in 2022.
On the day of the match, the two teams face off at three distances; 1000 yards, 1100 yards and 1200 yards. The course of fire is 2 convertible sighters and 15 shots to count per shooter at each distance. Both teams will consist of sixteen members, of which eight will shoot. The other eight will take on various no less important roles, such as target coaches, main coach, reserve shooters, Captain and Adjutant.
Although the first match was in 1997 in Tasmania, James Freebairn commisioned the trophy in 1993. James discovered Match Rifle at Bisley in the UK in 1990, and was instrumental in arranging the inaugural Australian Match Rifle Championships. The Woomera range in South Australia hosted the championships in October 1993.
In addition to sharing a name, the trophy is, in fact, fashioned after a sculpture in the township of Woomera; home not just to the aforementioned rifle range, but also a Government rocket testing facility. The name Woomera actually originates from an Australian Aborigine device, designed to increase the distance that a spear can be thrown. As such, Woomera seems appropriate for the naming of both a rocket range and a long range shooting trophy.
The central parts of the trophy represent different facets of the work carried out at the rocket range. The orb represents a satellite; the crescent, a tracking dish; the arrow, a rocket; and the supporting arm, a launcher (the aforementioned ‘Woomera’ device). The mounting block is River Red Gum (Eucalyptus Camaldulensis), a timber found growing in most parts of Australia. The emblem of the National Rifle Association of Australia adorns the mounting block.