Persistence pays for champion clay target shooter

World champion shooter, Anna Shedrina CPA.

A world champion clay target shooter, Anna Shedrina CPA knows the importance of persistence.

When Anna Shedrina CPA came to Australia from Russia as a nine-year-old, she spoke two words of English and considered herself average at every sport she tried. Twenty-six years on, she’s the general manager of a munitions company and a world champion shooter. 

Her path there was far from linear, but on the way she learned about resilience, aptitude, staying calm and why giving up is simply not on. 

It was in 1991, with the Soviet Union on the brink of collapse, that Shedrina’s parents reluctantly decided to emigrate to Australia. As they prepared for departure, Moscow’s government house was on fire and tanks were out on the streets of their neighbourhood. 

The family moved from Moscow across the globe to Melbourne, and Shedrina was determined to make the most of her new opportunities. She excelled at school and, after briefly considering studying medicine, opted for commerce at the University of Melbourne. 

Becoming a qualified CPA was a natural career step after university and has helped allow me to become who I am today,” she says, adding that her logical mind also ultimately made finance a rational career choice.

She also found an interest in clay target shooting while at university, but the expense of the sport meant it wasn’t until she got a full-time job after studying – an administrative role in accounts receivable at the Grand Prix Corporation – that she could pursue it with vigour. 

“... it’s about mastering your own mind and your own ego.”

The results came quickly; just two years later, in 2007, she had won a national title. 

Since then, dare we say, there have been some hits and misses. “It’s been a roller-coaster; one day you can’t miss and think you’re going to be the next world champion. The next day, the harder you try the more you miss. Clay target shooting is a discipline. For me, it’s about mastering your own mind and your own ego.”

Despite her success, the vagaries of team selection saw Shedrina miss out on Australia’s Commonwealth Games and Olympic teams. Frustrated, she decided to try her hand at the related non-Games discipline of Universal Trench, where competitors shoot at 25 targets each round, with two shots allowed at each. She found her niche and, in 2016, became a world champion in the sport. 

Her accomplishments at the range came alongside her evolving career. She learned the nitty-gritty of accounts payable at strata managers Binks & Associates in Melbourne, before assistant accountant roles at Reward Insurance and then Village Cinemas. Her next two jobs, at Dental Health Services Australia and Melbourne Water, saw increased responsibilities as a management accountant.

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Then she took a leap of faith and in 2010 married her sport and work to take on a position with Corporate Shooting Stars (now Go Shooting), a business run by Olympic and Commonwealth medallists Lauryn and Russell Mark, which offers clay target shooting events for corporate and social groups. 

It was only a part-time role, but it came at a time when people were losing jobs in the finance sector, and Shedrina had a gut feeling it would prove to be a good fit. She was right. It segued into a position with her current employer, Bronze Wing Ammunition, which makes shotgun cartridges for competition and hunting at its factory in Yenda, close to Griffith in southern New South Wales.

“For a competitive clay target shooter who is passionate about the sport – you live, breathe and dream about it – working in the industry was definitely a dream come true, and when you enjoy something so much, success comes easy,” says Shedrina.

Although Bronze Wing Ammunition is in Yenda, Shedrina looks after the business from Melbourne. She started as Bronze Wing’s finance manager in 2010, and is now its general manager. 

It may sound perfect, but the 35-year-old concedes that other than having a keen eye, her business skills don’t always gel with her sport. “If anything, having an analytical mind like mine is a disadvantage – I often have trouble staying still while I’m practising or competing,” she says. “That’s why controlling or mastering the mind becomes the key to a good result.” 

One piece of advice

“Nothing is impossible. All you need is an opportunity and determination, and to never give up. This applies in sport, in business and in life.”

Read next: Personal challenge motivates one CPA to triumph professionally

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October 2017
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