By Lori Szepelak
HOLYOKE – From an early age, Dahlia Windoloski, 15, had a knack with a firearm, according to her mom, Ann Robinson.
“Our family has always enjoyed the sport and Dahlia had a knack for it,” Robinson said during a recent evening interview with Reminder Publications
at the Holyoke Revolver Club. Robinson is a pistol and rifle volunteer instructor at the club.
Windoloski, a sophomore at Holyoke Catholic High School, said she chose to follow her mother and brother’s footsteps in learning how to shoot.
“Safety is always a concern and my mom taught me from an early age about the importance of handling firearms correctly,” she said.
Both Windoloski and Robinson are active members and volunteers at the Holyoke Revolver Club, which will soon be celebrating its 100th year celebration.
Windoloski most recently participated in the New Hampshire State Fall Junior Steel Challenge and the Holyoke team placed first in the Junior/Senior Production. The annual match pits teams from all over the country against the clock and each other in the steel challenge format. Holyoke members also placed first in the Junior/Senior Rimfire division, and Kevin Moskal, representing Holyoke, placed first in the Junior/Senior Production for high individual scores, as well as first place in the Junior/Senior Rimfire division.
There were 39 youth competitors, each representing their respective collegiate and high school shooting teams. They competed in both center fire and rim fire divisions to see which team had the fastest and most accurate shooters.
As a member of the Junior Rifle Program, Windoloski knew early on that she wanted to also participate as an apprentice to become a range safety officer at the club.
“We are strict on range safety,” she said.
Robinson echoed her daughter’s sentiments.
“We know all the members and we know that each member has had the proper safety education instruction,” she said.
For both Windoloski and Robinson, sharing a sport together is important for bonding as well as learning life skills.
“I love to work with new people and expose them to the sport,” Windoloski said, who hopes to receive a scholarship from either West Point or Texas A&M in the near future.
As more girls consider the sport, Windoloski is eager to share her love of the sport with local Girl Scouts in the new year.
“The sport of shooting teaches an individual how to be responsible,” she said, adding it is also a “fun sport that allows an individual to meet a lot of wonderful people.”
Robinson added that women “tend to be better at shooting because they focus better.” She added, “They can do it; they should try it.”
For more information on the Holyoke Revolver Club, visit http://holyokerevolverclub.com