Rachel Draper talks to two young regulars at Atkin Grant & Lang Shooting Ground
The future of clay pigeon shooting as a sport relies on the next generation of shooters. We spoke to Lain Blamey, aged 9, to see exactly why he enjoyed this sport and how it has affected his life at such a young age.
Lain started shooting when he was 4 years old at the Crazy Bear, using a 9mm bolt action single shot. He started shooting with his father, and he soon showed a keen interest in the sport.
Lain says: “I found it tough to hit clays with my 9mm, but as I have grown, my gun size has increased to .410, 28 bore, and now 20 bore. I’m now getting some good scores and feel proud of my progress.
“Shooting has played a massive part in my life at the ripe old age of 9. I have made so many friends, old and young, and as a sport there is no other where you would receive so much help and support like in the shooting world.
“Shooting is more than a sport to me, it’s a way of life that I wish more of my school friends understood. On Saturdays in the winter I go pheasant picking up, and some of the old boys there remember my dad beating and picking up when he was my age 30 years ago.
“I shoot the odd game day too, which is lots of fun, especially if you’re shooting better than the grown ups, ha ha!
“I hope to keep progressing with my shooting and work hard with my coach Pet Easton to improve each time I compete.
“To date, I have shot in my first World Sporting Championship, shot the Premier League, had an Olympic pathway trial, shot the Lyalvale Express Masters and shoot regularly at registered competitions, and my favourite the AGL Young Shots Open, which is always a good day out.”
Lain is one of a few incredibly talented young shots that have a passion and enthusiasm for clay pigeon shooting. With their help, and by encouraging and supporting them we can aim for an exciting future within the sport.
Alfie Tibbles, aged 15, started shooting at 11 years old with a ‘have a go’ session at a local shooting ground.
We asked Alfie why he first started shooting, and it was a rather unusual answer…
“I fainted and had to go to hospital for a check-up, so my dad booked a 25 target taster session as a treat. He probably regrets it now, as I have shot about 50,000 targets since!
“When I first had a go, I was more excited than scared as I had a very good trained instructor and I felt safe with him and my dad. It was fun, as I had never shot before, and when I left the session I just wanted to go back for more.
“I love the actual shooting part of the sport, but it’s not just about pulling the trigger for me; when you go to a shoot you see loads of great shooters and you make loads of great friends.
“Shooting is my escape from school work. I’m going to around 40 competitions a year and go through thousands of shots: I love it, and it’s how I like to spend my time. My goal is to achieve a few world titles as a junior and a senior. I am working on this with Ben Husthwaite, my coach.
I am still a colt (aged 15) so I have 5 years as a junior and lots of time as a senior.”
There is a small selection of incredibly talented young shots in the sport of clay pigeon shooting and Alfie is certainly one of them. Over the past 4 years, Alfie has made huge progress and is now recognised and respected on the competition circuit…
We certainly love seeing him at the AGL shooting ground.
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