Brothers William (left) and Arthur Ballinger, both champion shooters, are shown at the Trentham rifle range in 1895. Military units, particularly local volunteers, were central in establishing New Zealand's first national rifle championship competition in 1861. In 1873 the government donated a belt that became the prize for the championship. Arthur Ballinger, a member of volunteer unit the Wellington Guards, was national champion three times, in 1893, 1897 and 1907. This entitled him to keep the championship belt. Instead he donated it to be the permanent national rifle championship prize, the Ballinger Belt, now the oldest sporting trophy in New Zealand. William Ballinger also won the championship on two occasions, in 1879 when he was a member of the Wellington Volunteers, and in 1895, for the Petone Rifle Club.
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