By AIDEN BURGESS
COFFS Harbour shooter Ken Lowry couldnt believe it when he learned he would be inducted into the Australian Clay Target Association Shooting Hall of Fame.
And it wasn't due to his lack of ability, but rather his professional status.
"I was really suprised, as I didnt think I would be recognised because of being classed as a professional," he said.
His 20 year association with gun manufacturer Winchester lead to him losing his amateur status while trying out for the Australian Olympic team for the 1976 Olympic Games.
In a sport which prides itself on amateurism, Lowry thought this would work against him.
But he received notification to attend the Hall of Fame induction dinner at Wagga Wagga in April 2006.
A registered active shooter since the age of 16 in 1958, Lowry will be a more than worthy Hall of Fame member.
His achievements include an incredible nine Australian titles across three disciplines between 1972-1981 and 13 second and third place finishes at the national titles.
He also represented Australia at the 1973 World Titles, and won the Champion of Champions title in 1981, for which he received a Browning gun worth $10,000.
Having not competed in 25 years, Lowry will be making a comeback when he enters the 2006 World Down The Line Championships held in Wagga Wagga, which will coincide with his induction.
The chance to beat the current and past champions of the sport as a Hall of Fame member will be a motivating factor.
"I've got some incentive to go down there and perform well, and pick up where I left off," he said.
Lowry worked for gun manufacturer Winchester from 1969-89, during which he was both a state and Australasian manager/salesman.
He feels great pride in knowing he will become a Hall of Fame member.
"As much as anything it's recognition for a very successful sporting career, my fellow shooters saying that I was one of the best."
With a career average of 99.6 out of 100, Ken Lowry is truly a legend of Australian shooting.