In just five years of shooting, Warwickshire-based William Allan has a list of both national and international titles to his name
William Allan was introduced to the sport of shooting by his dad, Rob, aged just 11. Starting off as a beater on game shoots with his dad, it wasn’t long before William’s enthusiasm had convinced his dad he was ready to shoot his first bird, and armed with his very own shotgun he took his place in the line.
With a raw talent there for all to see, William was introduced to clay shooting soon after and coached by top English clay shooter, Steve Cox of Banbury Gunsmith. William said: “I really enjoyed clay shooting and I wanted to do more. One of my first memorable trophies was when I came third in the Prep Boys class at The School’s Challenge held at the Oxford Gun Company in 2009 – as soon as I started to win things I just wanted to win more.”
Winning was exactly what the teenager went on to do, and as his dad helped set up a clay shooting club at Kineton High School, practice opportunities became more frequent.
In 2010, aged 15, William won his class at the BASC .410 World Championships. More recently he won the top prize at the Oxford Gun Company’s School’s challenge held back in March. This was a significant achievement as William managed to shoot every single clay to secure the prize – the first time this feat had ever been achieved in this competition.
He said: “it was a memorable day for me I can still remember the pain of the pressure as I stood on the last stand of the Sporting layout knowing that if I get this last one right I can straight the course – I just kept my head down and stayed focused.”
Another fantastic achievement for the 16-year-old this season was at the National British Schools and Young Shot Championships, at E J Churchill Shooting Ground in May this year.
Competing against a spectrum of British school children up to 18, William shot the highest score of 44 out of 50. He said: “It was a great day with lots of competition but I just tried to take my time and do my own thing – and the trophy is spectacular!”
The Clive Stanton memorial trophy is dedicated to the late father of Clay Shooting publisher Wes Stanton. Clive made a massive contribution to clay shooting in schools, in particular Warwick School, and it was fitting that a Warwickshire school boy took the trophy home in its second year of marking the competition’s winners.
The costs of shooting mounts up and William is lucky to come from a keen shooting family who are eager to encourage his passion. Rob Allan said: “Shooting is an expensive sport and it would be great to get some sponsorship for William, but in the meantime we are keen to help him in his hobby as much as we can.” William added: “my sister Jessica is a keen shot too and recently won the Prep Girls class at the Schools Challenge – her first ever competition.”
For William and his shooting one thing is certain; his passion for the sport and his natural talent are sure to take him a long way. He told us he is keen to move on to shooting the international disciplines as soon as he gets up to Senior level and perhaps one day shoot for his country at the Olympics. For now he offered this advice to other young shooters: “stick at it, your time to win will come”.