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Matt Skelhon

Matt Skelhon shot to fame when he grabbed gold at the Bejiing Paralympic Games and proved it was no fluke by claiming silver and bronze at London 2012.

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Michael Whapples

Michael Whapples from Leicestershire is blind and shoots air rifle.  In 2011 he was the first British shooter ever to compete at the Open European Shooting Championships for the Vision Impaired, held at Nitra, Slovakia. 

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Peter Breheny

Peter Breheny from Derbyshire shoots benchrest rifle.  He has Kennedy's Disease, a progressive wasting condition that has weakened his limbs. 
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Scout

This young Scout was born without a left hand.  When he took an interest in shooting, which is very popular in the Scout movement, Hampshire Scouts helped his local club to find a solution. 
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Di Coates

Deanna (Di) Coates lives in Hampshire, shoots air rifle from a wheelchair, and is one of our most successful disabled international athletes. 
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Stewart Nangle

Stewart Nangle, a Lancastrian, is pictured shooting .22 pistol.  What the photograph does not show is that at the time one of his legs was fitted with a metal frame that was bolted into the bones. 
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Can you help?

It has long been clear from our contacts with individual shooters and clubs that there is a big demand for more high-level competitions that are open to disabled and less-able shooters. This means national championships and international competitions.

Paralympic shooting is not open to all disabled target shooters. Many of them have disabilities that do not fit the classification criteria. Many more do not shoot the .177 and .22 Paralympic disciplines. Consequently, there is a huge number of shooters looking for what is now known as a “performance pathway” – and why shouldn’t they all have one?

The DSP is working on it. A recent opportunity to visit the International Shooting Competition at Hannover (ISCH), offered the chance to discuss this topic with officials from other nations. Not surprisingly, they were aware of a similar pool of disabled shooters in their own countries, looking for similar opportunities. We intend to build on this initial exploration by approaching as many other national federations as possible, inviting them to provide information about the shooting disciplines in which they have a demand for international competition. It should then be possible to start setting up international postal matches to get things moving. Hopefully those will generate an interest in shoulder-to-shoulder competitions, which will lead to countries hosting international events in the non-IPC disciplines.

DSP Co-ordinator Liz Woodall will be glad to hear from anyone with shooting contacts abroad who might be able to help make all this happen.

szczecin pol

IPC Shooting World Cup
Szczecin, Poland – 9th-11th May 2014

 

The British team who made this year’s trip to Poland more than lived up to the standards set in previous years.  They achieved excellent results, finishing second in the overall medal table, behind Russia. The shooters brought home two team golds, plus two golds and a silver in the individual events.

Unfortunately, the full results for the World Cup have not been put up on the Sius on-line results service, but we are able to report on the four events in which the British medals were won.

Read more: GBR medals at Szczecin 2014

Essex Community Foundation

This charitable trust acts as a management hub for a co-operative of funding bodies offering grants of between £250 and £10,000 (or more for large developments) to people and organisations in Essex.  Funding is available for a wide range of things, and can be granted to individuals for participation in sport.  

Full details, including a telephone helpline, on the Foundation's website

 

SR Alliance

The Sport and Recreation Alliance runs an annual awards scheme.  Unlike other sports award schemes, the winners receive cash prizes for investment in their projects.  Winners of the five categories below will receive £1,000 each, and the overall winner gets £2,500.  Nominations can be submitted in the Spring, generally closing at the beginning of May.

Read more: Community Sport & Recreation Awards

Lincolnshire Sport

Lincolnshire Sport (which is the County Sport Partnership) and Sport England have launched a jointly-funded scheme to offer grants of £150 towards the cost of coaching course fees.  Applications must be made by individual coaches, not by clubs, and the submission deadline is 1st August 2014.  Full details are on the Lincolnshire Sport website

Blind-VI

In March 2014 we are putting the spotlight on shooting for those who are blind or visually impaired.  This is because there has been a significant upsurge of interest in this area of the sport, so we are using this month to highlight the opportunities available, and to introduce our plans for the next twelve months.  Below is a round-up of all the latest news on this topic - there is quite a lot of it!

 

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Introduction

Those who are new to the concept of blind participation in target shooting can find out about it in our introductory article, which also includes some notes on the latest developments in additional disciplines.  There is also an overview by VI shooter Hussain Patwa. 

Anyone who is looking for somewhere to try acoustic air rifle shooting can check out the list of clubs which have the equipment for it.  

 

News

The British Blind/VI Championships were held at Aldersley on the first weekend in March.  A report and the principal results can be found in News about Events.

New Club

We are delighted to welcome the opening of the latest acoustic shooting facility to be set up by the indefatigable Ken Nash, who has been the key man in developing this discipline in Britain over the last 20 years.  Ken travelled to the Isle of Man for the usual installation and training process, and the Manx Acoustic Shooting Club was born.  Our report has links to various local reports of the event, including a video by Manx TV.  

On the Radio

A crew from BBC Radio 4 attended the first day of the British Championships and produced an excellent report that was broadcast on the In Touch programme a few days later.  The programme also included an interview with blind journalist and broadcaster Sean Dilley who shoots clay target at the Lea Valley Shooting Ground in Hertfordshire.  For those who find this hard to believe, there is a video showing how he does it.

On the TV?

We have also been contacted by one of the TV channels seeking information about blind biathlon, with a view to including a piece about it in one of their programmes in the run-up to the Winter Paralympics.  If this is broadcast, we will add details here.  In the meantime, anyone who would like to find out about this challenging sport can view a video that has just been released by IPC Shooting.

Crossbow

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On the domestic front, Acoustic Sporter Crossbow, which has been demonstrated at several of the DSP's promotional events, is becoming popular.  Blackburn Acoustic Airgun Club are getting so keen on it that they would like other clubs to take it up so that some competitions can be introduced for it.  Any clubs interested should contact John Lloyd at Blackburn - as usual, grants should be available to cover the cost of acquiring the equipment.  

 

Our Plans

We have been receiving a lot of enquiries about blind/VI shooting from London and the south east.  At the moment, the only clubs with acoustic aiming equipment in that area are Tubslake Shooting Centre in Kent and SportsAble at Maidenhead in Berkshire.  Clearly we need to find several more clubs willing to acquire the equipment (which can be fully grant-funded), and/or some blind/VI support organisations with premises where 10-metre ranges can be set up for this purpose.  

During this month we are liaising with existing clubs in the area that have airgun facilities, with British Blind Sport, the London CSPs, and several blind/VI groups.  The aim is to arrange a meeting or conference to agree on the best way of meeting this demand, and then helping those clubs and venues that are willing to set up the facilities.  Naturally, we will be very pleased to hear from anyone interested in this exercise - particularly clubs who would like to get involved.  Please contact Liz Woodall to register your interest and be kept informed.  

Other areas

In other parts of the country we have been encouraging and supporting more clubs to offer acoustic shooting.  Ken Nash, and hopefully his newly-recruited apprentice will be kept busy this year setting up at least half a dozen more facilities.  

Sports Coach UK

5th March 2014

Sports Coach UK have just released the 2014 version of their excellent guide to sources of funding for sport.  Although it says on the tin that it covers funding for coaching, most of the grant-giving bodies listed will give grants for many other aspects of sport as well.  

At 81 pages, the new version is significantly bigger than last year's, and it is in a new interactive on-line format.  

This is one of the best sports funding guides around, and we recommend that anyone looking for funding for their club, shooting ground or association, as well as for coach training and equipment, should start here.  

BBC In Touch

4th March 2014

Two days after the British Blind/VI Shooting Championships, the BBC's In Touch programme on Radio 4 devoted almost half of its airtime to an excellent report on acoustic shooting.  In addition to reporting from the first day of the championships, where several competitors were interviewed, the feature also covered clay target shooting, as done by Sean Dilley, himself a journalist and broadcaster.  

The programme provided an interesting and very positive overview of the sport, and is well worth listening to on the BBC iPlayer, where it should be available indefinitely as part of the In Touch archive.  Alternatively, it can be downloaded as a podcast until 2nd April. 

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Hot News!

National Shooting Week 2014

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24th-31st May
Please encourage your club or shooting ground to take part.  Main article. 

DSP Videos

Videos on disabled target shooting now on Vimeo and YouTube. You are invited to contribute your videos.

Please Do Our Surveys!

survey Information about people and facilities is vital to our work (and funding). YOU can help by completing our People and Clubs/Grounds Surveys.

£250,000 for Clubs!

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Read about the huge increase in Sport England investment in grass-roots target shooting. 

International Development

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Read about how we are hoping to expand the range of international competitions open to disabled shooters, and let us know if you can help.  

Helpful Stuff

Vision for Shooters

For most shooters, being able to see well enough to aim accurately is the key to our sport. Our Vision Section has lots of information to help all shooters who have vision problems, great or small.

Funding Guidance & Information

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Need information on funding for any aspect of disabled target shooting?  Check out the extensive Funding section on this site. 

Advice for Clubs

EFDS Inclusion Hub is a free on-line resource created by the English Federation of Disability Sport for clubs that wish to become more disabled-friendly and include more disabled people in their activities.
More information

Disability Awareness

For those encountering people who have various types of disabilities, we offer a round-up of some on-line advice and videos that may help to put everyone at their ease.