Don and Doran Sewell have had something of a rivalry on the rifle range over the years. The husband and wife shooters have both been members of Canada’s full bore rifle team and have each won countless medals nationally and internationally.
But for six years, Don had one up on Doran. In 1993 he became only the second sport rifle athlete to be inducted into the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame. In 1999, her induction made them the first husband and wife both inducted as athletes.
She was introduced to the sport in 1953 by a co-worker at the company she was working for in Zimbabwe.
In 1967 she became the first woman in history to compete in a world long range rifle championship. The retired Revenue Canada appeals officer did not realize the impact of what she had done at the time. “It was nice to be able to be the first. I didn’t think about it at the time. But it was quite an achievement. That’s like the Olympics for us. There’s no full bore for us in the Olympics. It’s only in the Commonwealth,” she said.
Sewell would go on to compete in four more world championships including 1999’s competition in Bloemfontein, South Africa - 31 years after making her first appearance as a member of Team Canada.
She also competed in four Commonwealth Championships (1991, ‘93, ‘96 and ‘97), won gold medals at the 1987 Kolapore and Mackinnon matches in England and was the Canadian high scorer at the 1993 North London and Bank of England matches. Consider the fact no distinction is made between male and female in full bore rifle competitions. Both sexes compete in the same division.
Considering some of the history Doran Sewell has made, it was fitting that she was chosen to chronicle the history of the Manitoba Rifle Association.
b. December 26, 1932