Our new regular feature turns the spotlight on two more young shots who are making waves
Rhys first started shooting at the age of 10 and has grown increasingly more enthusiastic over the years. He turns 16 in November.
Rhys says: “I don’t know if there is a correct time to start shooting, so long as you’re safe and are enjoying it. I never really found a sport that I had a passion for, but when I started going to Atkin Grant & Lang with my dad at the weekends, I found that I thoroughly enjoyed shooting, and also quickly started to develop and improve my skills.
I’m so glad that I found this passion in shooting as it has really given me a purpose to try and be successful.
I don’t know of any other sport that is so encouraging to newcomers and youngsters. When I began, I started to have lessons with one of the instructors and felt so at home at the shooting ground even though it was new for me.
I felt a real enthusiasm from the instructors, and also from the shooting community as a whole.
I enjoy shooting because of how it helps me grow as a person, the type of person that wants to succeed. I hadn’t felt this ambition and commitment with any other sport.
I will shoot 100 targets on the weekend and then I will think about the same targets for the next week, as I look forward to going to war with them again.
Shooting now plays a huge part in my life, even outside of the stands. I feel that nutrition and fitness is a huge part of the shooting game, even though it is not the most physically demanding sport. So as to help prepare myself mentally I try and eat well and I work on strength and conditioning in the week.
Competing and practising takes up a lot of my time, so my parents and I dedicate a lot of time to shooting, particularly to travelling to events and competitions.
My next main goal is to have developed my scores enough to become an A Class CPSA shooter. From small milestones in my shooting career, I know that one day I will be the best in my sport.”
Holly got her first taste of shooting at the age of 10, when she was given a try-out day for her birthday. She enjoyed it from the very first shot, but found the gun too heavy and didn’t follow it up immediately.
Holly says: “My dad had been shooting for many years before me so I guess this is why I had the idea of it in my head. When I was around 13 I started shooting once a month at a local ground, doing a simple 50-bird Sporting.
However, it then became a struggle to afford it so I wasn’t shooting that often. I get to shoot much more now due to my sponsorships, and I’m out every day I can be!
I have been shooting English Sporting properly for around two years, but a few months ago I started shooting Olympic Skeet at EJ Churchill, which I found that I enjoy very much.
One of the best parts of shooting is meeting people from all around, which I wouldn’t have done if I didn’t shoot. The other best part of shooting is the satisfaction that I get when the shot completely dusts the clay.
The expense was the biggest hurdle, but my sponsorship from Blue Fieldsports has overcome this as they supply me with all the cartridges I use.
I’d say that the best part of my shooting career to date has been meeting new people, and coming 3rd in Ladies in the young shots competition at Atkin Grant & Lang. That was my first proper competition, and I just missed out first place by three shots.
I plan to carry on with Olympic Skeet to see how far it will take me on a professional level, while still shooting Sporting. It’s important to me to also have fun while competing at a high level and continue meeting new people.
I want to show people that girls are able to shoot just as well as boys can, and that the shooting community is friendly, safe and sensible.”