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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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Crossbow for Blind/VI too !

Developed by Chris Aston (former Chairman of the IAU) and promoted enthusiastically by John Lloyd and Blackburn Rifle & Pistol Club, the NSRA is working on development of a new crossbow discipline that is particularly accessible as an entry option for shooters with disabilities.  There are options for shooting seated, with or without a support, and also an acoustic version for blind/VI shooters.

The idea of crossbow as a disabled-friendly target shooting option is not new.  Chris has kindly provided a copy of a leaflet he prepared in 1987 on precisely this topic.  It is still a very encouraging read - available in our downloads section. 

Crossbow target shooting, a discipline that is closely related to air rifle in technical terms, has had rather a low profile in Britain for a long time.  As with air rifle, there are quite a few options available to a crossbow shooter; from the full international discipline through to Field Crossbow.  Perhaps it languished due to the twin difficulties of supply and cost.  The bows have only been imported to Britain when ordered, not available off-the-shelf, and with a low level of sales inevitably they are expensive.  There have never been enough in circulation to sustain a secondhand market which would help novices to take it up.

 At any rate, we now see the launch of a strong effort to expand and popularise this very eco-friendly target shooting option.  Sport Crossbow as a concept has taken its lead from the highly successful Sporter Air Rifle as an affordable entry-level discipline which is particularly suitable for young people and accessible for those with disabilities.  On that ground alone it thoroughly deserves to succeed.  However, its merit is greatly increased by the fact that it is being offered as an acoustic shooting option for blind and visually-impaired shooters, who hitherto have been restricted entirely to air rifle. 

The NSRA, as the national governing body for target crossbow disciplines, is co-ordinating the launch of Sport Crossbow.  For the young shooters market it is being tied in to the association’s very popular Youth Proficiency Scheme (YPS) which offers under-18s a basic introduction to target shooting.

Key features of Sport Crossbow

  • Any commercially-produced recurve crossbow with a maximum draw weight of 90lbs; it must have a safety catch, trigger guard, bolt retainer and foot-stirrup for cocking.  This allows for the use of small, lightweight bows. 
  • Shooter wears ordinary leisure clothing, not the special jacket, trousers and boots used for the full-specification match crossbow disciplines. 
  • Shot in the standing position – with the usual options for disabled participants to shoot seated and/or to use a stand for support. 
  • Ranges can be indoors or outdoors.
  • Course of fire is 30 shots at ranges of either 10m or 18m. 
  • Target is a 40cm diameter coloured archery diagram.

Blind/VI variations

  • 10m range.
  • 20cm diameter blind/VI target (white in the centre, shading to a black background). 
  • Use of an acoustic aiming system, which measures light reflected from the target to calculate how close the aim is to the centre of the target, then converts that information into an audible signal which the shooter listens to via headphones.

 

Both versions are currently being trialled and promoted at Blackburn R&PC, while Chris Aston is drafting the necessary rules, after which the NSRA, as well as clubs, will be able to start organising competitions.  As and when we receive further information we will publish it on this site.  In the meantime, everyone involved with the DSP is wishing the venture every success. 

Hot News!

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.