Starting strong with Leah Southall

Leah Southall kicks off the new shooting season with an eye on some ambitious goals.

Leah gets ready for her first competitive shoot of the year

The beginning of a new year means new challenges, and with hard work and dedication these can be overcome.

One of the things that I am most thankful for is my continued sponsorship from Eley Hawk cartridges in 2019. This will be my second year being sponsored by this fantastic company, whose support has already helped me to develop as a shooter. Eley produce fantastic cartridges, and it’s easy for me to see why so many UK shooters love them.

As most of you know, I shoot Eley DTL Gold. They were apparently developed to help achieve the perfect 300-straight, and who doesn’t want that? Eley’s representatives tell me that the secret is keeping recoil low and patterns dense. Extra hard shot can’t hurt either. Obviously I’m biased, but if you don’t shoot Eley cartridges then I’d recommend giving them a try.

After a tough first line, Leah showed her mettle by putting in some solid scores

Another thing I’m thankful for is my amazing coach, Phil Morgan. On 5 January,  I had my first training session of 2019, which was a coaching session from Phil. We ironed out a few minor issues with my timing and gun mount. With another year of coaching about to commence, I feel like my shooting ability is about to take a big leap forward, and my scores are going to drastically improve.

On 20 January I attended my first competition of the year, which was at Fauxdegla Shooting Ground. I honestly didn’t think I was going to make it, because on the drive up you couldn’t see even two metres in front of you through the fog. We could have turned back and driven back home, but I was determined to shoot this competition whether I could see or not.

Fauxdegla Shooting Ground was the scene of Leah’s first challenge of 2019

Thankfully the fog had mostly cleared by the time I was ready to shoot. I had a difficult start on my first line, which would obviously have a big impact on my final score. Despite this setback, I managed to stay positive and put some solid scores on the next two lines before finishing with a perfect 25/75, which I was extremely pleased about.

After having a break over Christmas and New Year, it’s definitely time to get back into the swing of things.

With multiple major shoots in the diary for this year, every competition and every score counts if I want to be in with a chance to be selected to shoot for England again this year. I look forward to keeping you updated on my progress.


Leah Southall is a young DTL shooter from the West Midlands who has made remarkable progress since taking up shooting in March 2016, recently achieving her first England cap.

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