Clubs are for every­body

Air Gunner - - Your Letters -

Hi, I just wanted to say what air ri­fle shoot­ing has done for me. My hus­band has been in­volved with air ri­fles for over 30 years, long be­fore I met him. He has tried to get me to try his air ri­fle for nearly 18 months, but I was al­ways hes­i­tant be­cause I have no ex­pe­ri­ence with ri­fles, and I am dis­abled and reg­is­tered par­tially blind. I fi­nally took the plunge last De­cem­ber and I couldn’t be­lieve how much I en­joyed it; he says I am a nat­u­ral. He then took me to the club where he shoots. I ad­mit that I was ap­pre­hen­sive and didn’t be­lieve they would let me shoot due to my eye­sight prob­lems, plus not been in­volved with shoot­ing be­fore, I didn’t know what to ex­pect from the other mem­bers. I had this men­tal pic­ture of them be­ing in camo and mud and fouled mouthed and all men, be­cause that is how shoot­ers are usu­ally shown on TV and in the press, but I couldn’t have been more wrong and ev­ery­one at the club made me more wel­come than I could have ever ex­pected. The mem­bers are very friendly, help­ful, clean and po­lite and a good mix of men and women. The big­gest sur­prise was how so­cial ev­ery­one was - they made me feel at home from my first ses­sion - but best of all, they don’t treat me like some­one with a dis­abil­ity. To them, I am just an­other shooter. Go­ing to the club on a reg­u­lar ba­sis has re­ally help my self es­teem and self worth, plus it has in­tro­duced me to a great sport and a great bunch of peo­ple. I have now got my own ri­fle, a BSA R10 MK2, which my hus­band rec­om­mended, and a MTC Viper 10x44 scope be­cause it has very good, large tur­rets - in fact, it is the same out­fit as the one he uses. I have even found ways to over­come my eye­sight prob­lems; for ex­am­ple, when load­ing the magazine be­cause this was very tricky for me to do, but I now do it by feel­ing the pel­let so that I know which way to put it in the magazine, and a bi­pod to help with bal­ance. I would rec­om­mend that any­one who thinks they can­not shoot through ill health or dis­abil­ity should get in touch with a lo­cal club and give it a try. You won’t be dis­ap­pointed and you will make new friends. Michelle Whal­ley

Hello Michelle, I’m so happy to hear your story. It’s one I’ve heard many times from all around the coun­try. Clubs are a vi­tal part of the air­gun scene, pro­vid­ing safe places to shoot, al­lied to friend­ship and a wel­come to new­com­ers. I hope you have a long air­gun­ning ca­reer and get as much from the sport as I do. Ed.

Clubs are great places for every­body, in­clud­ing dis­abled peo­ple

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