Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Sport All The Week’s Action... - By Andrew Gi­d­ley

Ar­chae­ol­o­gist Faye Wills is dig­ging in hop­ing to re­alise her Olympic dream.

The 24-year-old shooter from Ken­ning­ton gave up the sport for two years due to fi­nan­cial rea­sons but a trip to a Tal­ent Iden­ti­fi­ca­tion Day last Oc­to­ber saw her win a place on Bri­tish Shoot­ing’s Tal­ent Path­way to train in the Olympic skeet dis­ci­pline.

Wills got the shoot­ing bug while work­ing at Green­fields Academy at Sturry, near Can­ter­bury, ad­mit­ting: “I was hooked.”

How­ever, her com­mit­ment to the hard work and ded­i­ca­tion nec­es­sary for any­one se­lected for the Path­way was tested only last week af­ter she was de­layed with her hus­band Tony on the cou­ple’s re­turn from a hol­i­day in Mex­ico, a prize for win­ning a com­pe­ti­tion on Twit­ter.

It meant a rush home from the air­port, be­fore jump­ing straight into the car to drive to the Na­tional Shoot­ing Cen­tre at Bis­ley in Sur­rey for a pre­ar­ranged les­son with her coach.

She ar­rived with just min­utes to spare but de­spite the lack of sleep was de­lighted with the ses­sion.

Writ­ing on her per­sonal blog, she said: “The adren­a­line and ex­cite­ment of shoot­ing so well elim­i­nated a vast amount of my tired­ness....with­out doubt my best train­ing ses­sion so far.

“Ev­ery­thing fell into bril­liantly, I was ec­static.”

Faye’s jour­ney to the Path­way has had its own dif­fi­cul­ties – hav­ing given up the sport, be­ing un­able to af­ford travel, equip­ment and en­try fees.

She even­tu­ally re­turned to the sport two years ago, win­ning place county com­pe­ti­tions, a place in the Kent skeet team and in­vited to shoot on the Olympic trap team.

Faye said: “I am presently work­ing as a free­lance on a site near Ayle­sham and also have a sec­ond job work­ing at Euro­tun­nel in Folke­stone.

“I am still largely self-funded, and also re­ceive sup­port from the Kent Sport Fund FANS Scheme, while Tony sup­ports me in ev­ery way pos­si­ble.

“The sport isn’t cheap – 1,000 car­tridges cost £200 which cover 10 shoots while 100 clays can be any­thing be­tween £28 and £35, plus fuel costs.”

Faye ad­mits the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo may come to soon but hav­ing redis­cov­ered her shoot­ing mojo, she is now tar­get­ing 2024.

Paris or Los Angeles are vy­ing to host those Games, with a de­ci­sion ex­pected soon.

Pic­ture: Ge­orge Wills

Faye Wills takes aim

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