Clay shooting has seen a big increase in the number of women taking part in the previously male-dominated sport, thanks to the rise of women’s only shooting clubs across the UK.
GB Olympic Skeet Shooter and BBC Young Personality of the Year 2013, Amber Hill, commented on the increase: “I think it’s great to see how women are getting more involved in clay shooting, it’s providing a new talent pathway into British shooting for female athletes. The sport is evolving rapidly and capturing the interest of many who wouldn’t have seen it as a viable option previously.”
Lydia Abdelaoui, founder of Femmes Fatales all-female gun club said: “We have seen a definite increase in the number of women taking part in clay shooting over the past couple of years. It was traditionally a predominantly male sport, but the introduction of ladies-only shooting clubs has made it a more accessible sport for women of all backgrounds to enjoy. Social media has played a key role in widening the awareness of these clubs, increasing interest and participation.
“Women’s only shooting clubs are a great platform to enable ladies to take part in the sport in a pressure-free environment before considering more serious involvement.”
Linn Clabburn, co-founder of the Ladies and Shooting Society also noted the increase in female interest: “Women ranging from 15-75 have taken part in our shoots, with a number of them having never picked up a shotgun before eager to return and signing up to all upcoming shoot days.
“Clubs like ours are a gateway for women to join the sport. The ladies-only concept gives women the chance to try the sport and practice in a relaxed environment.”
Victoria Knowles-Lacks, founder of the UK’s largest ladies’ shooting club, The Shotgun & Chelsea Bun Club, also added: “The success of the Olympics has drawn more women in and really put clay shooting on the map, it’s an exciting time to be a lady shot.”
For those looking to try clay shooting for the first time, the inaugural UK Game Fair at Stoneleigh will feature an extensive clay pigeon shooting line and a busy Gunmakers’ Row. The event will be professionally staffed for newcomers to try their hand at the sport; along with a selection of competitions, sponsored by Eley Hawk, including the first UK Game Fair Classic, a 50-bird English Sporting Championship.
Wes Stanton, organiser of the UK Game Fair, said: “It’s great to see more women interested in shooting and other field sports, and we hope that the events at our show will entice even more into the industry. Clay shooting is one of the fastest-growing sports in the UK and that’s why it’s going to be a major focus at our new show this summer.”
Other attractions at the UK Game Fair will include a Focus on Fishing area; and working dog demonstrations. There will also be the chance to go off-roading in a 4X4 on a purpose-built track and take part in food demonstrations with the UK’s top game chefs.
To book tickets or become an exhibitor at The UK Game Fair 2016, go to www.ukgamefair.com
Tickets are priced from £17.50 for adults and £12.50 for young people. Under 11s go free.