It's not often we see a teacher competing on the international stage for Canada, but Anderson CVI's Michael Melnichuk did just that recently competing at the 49th CISM World Military Shooting Championships in Doha, Qatar.
CISM, short for Conseil International du Sport Militaire or International Military Sports Council competition took place over nine days and involved over 50 countries that sent teams to the global games.
Melnichuk, a secondary teacher at Whitby's Anderson CVI working with students with multiple exceptionalities in a small, locally developed special education class has been involved in marksmanship shooting prior to becoming a teacher.
"I started when I was in boy scouts with air rifle shooting. I had a brother who was a couple years older than me who was also doing some small bore rifle shooting… I followed along with him," says Melnichuk.
"Through my first year at university I was involved in provincial matches, but got away from it for the next two to three years. I picked it up again after finishing teachers' college."
Melnichuk did not seek out this CISM competition initially, but continued to learn more through inquiry with others who also shared a love for marksmanship shooting. "I was working at a regional air rifle match for cadets and one of the other staff was wearing a CISM jacket. I inquired where she got the jacket and was invited to a training camp where I shot and qualified for the team," says Melnichuk.
Following his selection to the national team and successful securing of funding he was selected to go to the competition in Qatar to represent Canada.
"I am proud to be a representative for the Canadian Armed forces and Canada," states Melnichuk, a reservist.