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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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2nd May 2012

I spent a most interesting evening at Aldersley at the invitation of Trevor Haynes (see previous blog entry).  It was a gathering of interested parties from Shropshire and Staffordshire, brought together to be briefed on Trevor’s remit, and to provide some initial feedback on what could usefully be done to help target shooting in the region. 

As part of the Disabled Shooting Year promotion round I did a presentation and handed out the first of our new infopacks.  It was all very kindly received, and there was quite a bit of encouraging discussion about how clubs can best help disabled shooters. 

Trevor then produced an extraordinarily complicated diagram of the lines of communication within the sport, which brought us all up short!  It’s so true that a picture is worth 1,000 words – none of us had realised just how convoluted everything is between shooters, coaches, clubs, counties, regions, NGBs and external agencies like Sport England, Sports Coach UK, the CSPs, etc.  It certainly goes some way to explaining why things don’t happen.  Anyway, it prompted an enthusiastic discussion about how communications should and could be improved, and I think Trevor has got some useful pointers out of that. 

One of the things that all this showed up is how some of the county associations seem to be rather short of reasons for existence, particularly if they are no longer running county leagues and championships.  With clubs affiliating direct to the NSRA and communications increasingly going direct between the national bodies and individual shooters, it looks as if the counties need to carve out a new role for themselves if they are not to become moribund.  Is this something that we should all be thinking about?  Are these associations being pushed into obsolescence by modern communications, or do they have an important role to play as intermediary bodies with their finger on the local pulse, and an intimate knowledge of shooting in their area - something that an NGB cannot achieve? 

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