Clay Shooting

Shoot­ers to watch

Rachel Draper talks to two young reg­u­lars at Atkin Grant & Lang Shoot­ing Ground

- Austria · Iceland · Championship · Belarus

Rachel Draper talks to two of the younger gen­er­a­tion about their ex­pe­ri­ences in shoot­ing

Lain Blamey

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

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.

“Shoot­ing is more than a sport to me, it’s a way of life that I wish more of my school friends un­der­stood. ”

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