After weeks in lockdown, Leah is finally able to get out shooting – but has she lost her touch?
It was another boring month sat in lockdown, the second since this whole fiasco started. My life consisted of college work, eating, the occasional bit of exercise and sleeping. And then the CPSA announced that shooting grounds could begin to reopen – and that changed everything!
They posted on Instagram after the government announced the change in restrictions, and as soon as I saw that I knew that it would only be a matter of time before I could get the gun out again and do some actual shooting instead of just dry mount practice.
During lockdown, I took the time to reflect upon my achievements this time last year. It’s crazy how many competitions where I won some silverware last year have been cancelled or postponed this year.
For example, last year at the beginning of April I competed in the DTL Grand Prix at Fauxdegla Shooting Ground where I won 1st in Colts and 3rd in Juniors. Due to lockdown, the same competition has been postponed to sometime in the near future.
I would also have shot all three of the England selection shoots for this year by the middle of May – which just goes to show that the majority of the season has passed, as these were some of the biggest competitions of 2020 for me.
It feels so strange not going out competing and training every single weekend. Still, with luck it won’t be long until competitions are running again, which is something to look forward to.
It was a huge positive note when, on 15 May, my dad told me that he had booked me on to shoot some practice at Park Farm Shooting Ground the following day! I was ecstatic and couldn’t wait to take the gun out again for the first time since in March.
Surprisingly I didn’t shoot as badly as I had anticipated – in fact I shot quite well! Of course there were bound to be a few mistakes here and there because of the length of time I’d gone without shooting. However I seemed to iron most of these out after the first line.
I would like to say a huge thank you to Phil and Luke at Park Farm for opening up the ground for practice, and implementing the necessary safety precautions outlined by both the CPSA and the government.
At the time of writing this the ground is now open additional hours and days for practice. You need to ring up and book as there are only a few spaces available each day due to the safety precautions.
I very much look forward to continuing my practice there in the near future – and as more and more grounds are reopening, I can also look forward to the chance to get out and do some shooting more over the coming weeks and months.
I hope that things will change soon and the situation will improve, but for the time being, stay safe and I hope to see you soon!
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- Leah Southall is back with a bang!
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