Ben Grossi

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Better known in competition circles under his shooting alias Henry Sharps, Ben Grossi started shooting cans as target practice at a young age. By the time he was 12, he and his younger brother Kayle, coached by their father, were shooting competition pistol. Ben still holds the junior record at Broken Hill Pistol Club. By the time he was a teenager, his passion and his natural talent as a marksman had turned him into an accomplished shooter.  

Educated at Morgan St Primary School and Broken Hill high School, Grossi started working underground in the mines when he finished school. He is now an underground supervisor at RASP Mine in Broken Hill. After winning five national titles, five South Australian regional titles and two American regional titles, he has created a successful parallel career in competition shooting, a sport that has been steadily growing in popularity in Australia and which, thanks to Ben Grossi, has put Broken Hill on the world competition shooting map. 

Now clay target shooting, with an overall South Australian state handicap title, Grossi’s ambition is to be a duel shooting discipline national champion. He has so far won both state and national shooting championships in single action shooting and cowboy action shooting, a combination of handgun and rifle, often using mid nineteenth century-style firearms. Competitors wear ‘old west’ nineteenth century costumes (along with safety goggles) and shoot under an alias such as Grossi’s Henry Sharp. The competition traditionally requires ten revolver rounds, and shooters are permitted to carry two revolvers, as well as rifle rounds and shotgun rounds. The targets are usually steel plates or clay birds. 

Ben Grossi has been named Australian National Champion in 2004, 2014, 2016, 2018 and 2019. 

His dedication to the sport has inspired many young shooters in Broken Hill and around Australia, and he gives his time generously, running shooting schools at national & state level competitions for all levels of ability in conjunction with the National Shooting body. His brother Kayle, aka ‘Bodie’ has also won events at national competition level. 

Ben Grossi was named Broken Hill sportsperson of the year three times, most recently in 2019. Of his home town he says: ‘It isn’t easy reaching an elite level coming from a small country town, but that makes you tough and resilient. You need all the support you can get, and Broken Hill is a tight-knit community that supports its sportspeople.’ 

Audio transcript available.