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  • michaelwhapples1Michael 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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  • MattSkelhon1Matt 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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  • peterbreheny1Peter Breheny from Derbyshire shoots benchrest rifle.  He has Kennedy's Disease, a progressive wasting condition that has weakened his limbs. 
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  • vicmorris1Vic Morris lives in south Wales and is paralysed from the neck down as the result of an accident.  With the aid of an 'equaliser' device invented by his coach, John Kelman, Vic shoots pistol and rifle. 
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  • Di CoatesDeanna (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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  • scoutwithprosthesis1This 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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  • stewartnangle1Stewart 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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Target shooting is righly proud of its credentials as a very inclusive and integrated sport.  It is interesting to find that this state of affairs goes back a very long way!  Here are some historic gems gleaned from national governing body archives.

September 1906 - The Rifleman

Rifleman Sept 1906 W

One must set aside modern ideas on terminology, and remember that 'political correctness' had not been invented when this article was published.  So far it is the earliest printed report of disabled shooting that we have found.











Summer 1963 - The Rifleman

St Dunstans - Rifleman Summer 1963 W

The equipment described here was truly pioneering in its time.  We have been told that it was actually in use at St. Dunstan's between the wars; if so, it had been around for about 25 years when this report was published. 

It is interesting to note that at the moment (as far as we are aware) there is no equipment in use for blind and deaf shooters nowadays.  However, if there was a call for it, no doubt a modern version of this remarkable device could be created.

For those who have difficulty reading the text, it is as follows:

Shooting Match for Deaf/Blind

A shooting match on St. Dunstan's sound rifle range especially adapted for use by the deaf as well as blind was a new feature among the entertainments planned for a group of blind and deaf ex-servicemen at their 'Muffled Drums' reunion at the Training Centre at Ovingdean, near Brighton, from 25-29 April. 

For many years now blind men at St. Dunstan's have been able to try their skill as marksmen using a rifle designed to be aimed by sound.  The barrel moves within an electronic field and produces a sound in headphones which indicates when the rifle is lined up with the bull.  Further research has enabled this sound to be converted into vibrations which can be felt through a vibrator by the deaf and blind man.

The winning score was made by W. Bell from Basingstoke who scored 28 ex 50.  Wally Thomas who is pictured here was second scoring 15 ex 50.  He served with the R.A.F. in a bomb disposal unit and was blinded and deafened when T.N.T. removed from a bomb exploded.  Clifford Stockwell of Southwick was placed third scoring 13.

The shooting match took place on Monday, 29 April, the final day of the Reunion, and was followed by a farewell dinner.  Earlier in the week-end the St. Dunstaners visited London for luncheon with Lady Fraser of Lonsdale, and other activities included a visit to a famous brewery and boat trip on the River Arun.

The piece ends with the following "Editorial Suggestion": Most rifle clubs 'fine' the bottom scorer in each team match - why not donate those 'fines' to St. Dunstan's ?


 1974 - Coaching at Aldersley, Wolverhampton

Frank Spittle at Wolverhampton 1974 WThe ranges adjacent to the Aldersley Stadium complex (now the Aldersley Leisure Village) in have been a leading venue for disabled target shooting for 40 years.  This photograph shows the late Frank Spittle coaching a young shooter in a wheelchair at a 'have a go' event in what was then known as the National Indoor Shooting Centre - since re-named the West Midland Region Shooting Centre.  .  





1987 - Crossbow

Crossbow 1987 W

This arresting photograph of a man using his feet and teeth to hold and fire a crossbow because he has no arms, is part of a leaflet, Crossbow Shooting for the Disabled produced by Chris Aston, who has pioneered inclusion in this discipline for many years.  The whole leaflet can be seen in the Downloads section of this site, under 'Other Documents'. 





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