My at the time boyfriend (now husband) introduced me to shooting around 2002. We used to go out at weekends to local grounds and shoot. Nothing competitive – more for fun and a hobby we could do together. Then one Christmas he bought me a 20 bore Browning shotgun as a Christmas present. When I fell pregnant in 2005 I stopped shooting and didn’t shoot again until very recently when I went to Holland & Holland with my daughter, Bethany for a lesson. I often take her for training sessions and recently attended a Ladies Day at The Oxford Gun Company with her. Even this weekend we went to AGL for some practice where she gave me some pointers. We are both looking forward to attending our first Shotgun and Chelsea Bun Club day at AGL.
I never really had an interest in shooting (let alone heard of the sport) until my Dad asked me if I wanted to go along with him to my local ground, Park Farm Shooting Ground. I had never been so scared! I was surrounded by lots of strangers using guns (bear in mind I was only 10 at this point), however, I was made to feel very included, despite not actually shooting. My Dad asked me to score for him, and I thought to myself “well this seems interesting.” I never had the guts to actually pick up a gun until I was 11 years old, and from that point I was hooked. I started off using a 20 gauge Beretta semi-auto due to shooting Sporting for a few months. I did like this discipline, but I felt like I never properly clicked with it. One day when I was shooting at Park Farm, I decided to watch the DTL that they have there. I quite liked the idea of moving away from Sporting, so I decided to sell my semi-auto, and buy a trap gun. The first time I ever shot DTL was at Mid Wales Shooting Centre, and this is where I finally found my passion for shooting. Since that day, I have never looked back, and I even made the England Ladies DTL team in 2018 for both the Home Internationals and the European Championships at just 15 years old (the youngest person to make the team that year). I am currently sponsored by some of the world’s best companies and various other sponsors too and they are: Laporte, GMK/Beretta, Eley Hawk, Cens Digital, MacWet Gloves, and Ed Lyons. In the future, my dream is to make the DTL World Championship team in 2020, and captain the England Ladies team. My ultimate goal for the future however, is to represent Great Britain in the Olympics, when I transition to Olympic Trap. Being only 16 years old, I have many years ahead of me to achieve my dreams, and I cannot wait to see what the future holds!
I first heard about shooting when my brother was at an agricultural college and was shooting for the county. I really wanted to go back to college to follow my family farming genes, but with a lack of support, I stayed in my fitness jobs. I then worked at an outdoor activity centre where they held clay shooting experiences, I had a go and did really well, but still didn’t start, I thought it was something that boys did. I finally started last year and I love it, my brother bought me a lesson at a local ground and even the instructor was surprised I was hitting the difficult targets. (Confidence boost). I’m hoping to buy my own gun and start networking with other ladies (because the guy’s attitudes really aren’t supportive) and I have seen ladies groups popping up, although none local. I have learned over the past year the things that bring me joy, mostly are farming and country activities, hopefully, I can find a really supportive coach, a bunch of ladies who share my interests and see where it takes me.
I first wanted to try shooting after watching the pentathlon in the 2012 London Olympic Games when I was only 6 years old! Over the years I sort of forgot about it until I was having a conversation with my dad about inspirational female athletes and he brought up that there weren’t many successful female shooters out there. He then asked me if I was interested in giving it a go. I thought that it was something no one I knew had ever done before, so I obviously said yes! A few weeks later I had my first shooting lesson with Ken Rist at Lea Valley Shooting Association, with my mums old 20bore, and I was instantly hooked. After 6 more weeks, I entered into my first competition (the IAPS Championships), where I won the U11 ladies high gun! And I haven’t stopped shooting since…
I grew up surrounded by trophies on the living room unit that my Dad was forever bringing home from shooting skeet at our local shooting ground so it’s always been a sport that’s quite close to me. It wasn’t until last year that I purchased a gun with my sister and we decided to get into it. I am fortunate enough that my manager is the Ex England Captain from the Team GB Clay Shooting team so I have had lots of support in getting involved in the sport and I must admit I love it! I love the addiction and the constant competition you have with yourself to improve. I have only shot clays so far, although I have many friends who run their own game shoots so I am hoping I will be able to branch out into game shooting in the coming season that is vastly approaching!
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