Leah Southall talks sponsorship – how it benefits her and how you can get it
I currently have six sponsors, for which I am very thankful. My sponsors are Laporte, Eley Hawk, GMK/Beretta, MacWet gloves, Ed Lyons and Shu Equipment.
My advice to other shooters who are looking for sponsorship is this: present yourself well around shooting grounds and among the shooting community. Gaining sponsorship is not all about the scores you achieve. The way you’re perceived makes a big difference. Promote the company you wish to receive sponsorship from, and create a CV with all of your scores and achievements throughout the year.
I have been sponsored by Laporte for two years now, and their support has helped me become a more rounded athlete. I am given free clays which I can use during training at a designated ground of my choice. Laporte is a great, international company that produces fantastic, reliable traps and clays.
I gained sponsorship from Eley last year. I currently use the Eley DTL Gold cartridges in 28 gram, which are a fantastic shell with minimal recoil; they produce great kills. I use both 8 and 7.5 shot sizes, which works well for me. I use 8s in the bottom barrel because I am quick on the target.
Ed Lyons is a sports vision specialist based at Flint & Partners Optometrists in Wolverhampton. Ed has helped me with my eye dominance issues and has sorted out my prescription insert for my Pilla Panther X6 glasses. He has helped me not only with my shooting glasses, but with my everyday glasses too.
MacWet gloves are used for many sports and have a strong grip even when wet. I use their breathable Micromesh gloves during summer and their Climatec in winter. These gloves are slightly thicker than the Micromesh and they keep my hands very warm, but they don’t affect the feel of the trigger.
On winning the Emerging Shooter of the Year 2018 at the CPSA Awards, I was awarded GMK/Beretta sponsorship for 3 years. Beretta shotguns are used by Olympic and Commonwealth athletes around the world. I was given a Beretta DT11 Black Edition with 30 inch barrels, fixed chokes (3/4 and full) and an adjustable stock. The Black Edition is one of the newest guns from Beretta. Its carbon fibre rib and trigger mechanism make it very light, and it comes with a selection of barrel weights to suit me.
Shu Equipment provides butt pads in colours to suit any style. I currently have a black and red one, which I chose because those are the colours of my Laporte skeet vest. I also have a red and white one to match the colours of the England flag. I got it to remind me of gaining my first England cap in DTL.