Women boost shooting’s numbers

Women get a taste for shooting at West London SS’s Ladies Day

The number of shotgun certificates issued to women has leapt by more than 1,000 over the past year.

This statistic is according to the latest figures released by the Home Office – and the total number of certificate holders is up by one per cent.

BASC say that overall there were 591,302 people holding a shotgun or firearm certificate, or both, in England and Wales during the period April 2018 to March 2019.

The figure includes 572,488 shotgun certificates and 159,745 firearm certificates. Women account for 35,622 of those – six per cent of the total. That’s an increase of 1,233 over the previous year, with 1,036 of them being shotgun certificate holders.

Claire Sadler, who was elected BASC’s first female vice chairman in June, said: “It’s fantastic news that more women are coming into shooting. It shows that contrary to the stereotypes, shooting welcomes diversity.

“It is also positive news for shooting to see increases in the overall numbers of people holding shotgun and firearm certificates. The more people sharing our passion, the greater our power to fight for the changes that are necessary to protect shooting’s future.”

Ladies days are one route for women to get into the sport – and West London Shooting School reports that their 2019 ladies competition was their biggest ever, with 21 female shooters competing.

The event is open to participants in the ground’s ladies’ course, which is designed to help women with busy lifestyles to get into shooting. It consists of three hourlong lessons taken throughout the year at their convenience and concludes in the competition day with a champagne awards ceremony sponsored by Coates & Seely winemakers.

Head instructor Mark Heath said: “The West London ladies day is always a big highlight in the West London Shooting School calendar, with strong competition, great shooting and a morning of fun and plenty of humour.

It is great to see more ladies taking on the sport and attending the West London Ladies course.”

Melanie Fox took first place with a score of 46, followed by Bethan Cutler on 43 and Helen Von Poecke with 38. They each received a rosette, a certificate and a bottle of champagne.

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