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.Read More
Vic 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.
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.
There are many different types of target shooting available for people to try in Great Britain. Some of them are readily accessible to disabled people, others less so. Also, shooting clubs and facilities do not all cater for every discipline; some only offer one, whilst larger complexes can cater for many of them. The only place in the country where almost all disciplines can be tried is Bisley Camp in Surrey, where the principal national governing bodies are based.
The DSP is working with various governing bodies on improving accessibility to the sport, so if the disciplines that you particularly fancy are not suitable for your type of disability at the moment, or are not currently available in your area, do not give up hope! The key skills for target shooting are very similar for all disciplines, so you could start with a different but similar option, learn those key skills, and take up your first choice when it is available to you.
For a summary of the principal target shooting options go to the Options page.
There are clubs all over the country that cater for varying types and degrees of disability, and the list is steadily growing longer. You can find out about clubs, shooting grounds and other facilities in your area from the relevant national governing body (see the Options page mentioned above, or look in Other Sites). Clubs and other facilities that are known to the DSP as being suitable for shooters with disabilities are listed on the page of Disabled-friendly Clubs under the Clubs menu, with links to their contact details, but this list is not exhaustive. There are many clubs that have never been asked specifically about taking disabled members, but which will happily to do so - it is always worth enquiring. If you have difficulty finding a suitable club the DSP may be able to help via its network of contacts, so please get in touch.
All clubs are different in character, so if possible it is worth visiting several to see what is on offer, and whether the ambience suits you!
Clubs will usually provide all the equipment needed, although most shooters choose to buy their own once they have settled into the sport. This need not be overly expensive, as there is an extensive market in secondhand kit.
If you use your club's equipment, the cost will be just the price of your pellets or ammunition, and membership subscriptions - probably around the cost of a pint or a cappuccino a week!
If you buy your own equipment and enter lots of competitions - as much as you want to spend.
For those who are keen and able enough, the top level available to a disabled shooter is competing at the Paralympics. Great Britain has produced quite a few Paralympic champions over the last 20 years. Those interested in reaching serious top-level competition should contact Disability Target Shooting GB.
There are some types and degrees of disability that do not meet the criteria for the Paralympic athlete categories. At the moment options for international competition for such people are limited, but they are expanding, and the DSP is encouraging development in this area.