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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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11th – 19th August 2012

The best places to meet large numbers of individual shooters and club officials are the national meetings of the various disciplines in the sport.  This is where one hears of individual shooters who need help and clubs that could do with advice, as well as all sorts of news of who is doing what, the latest inventions, new initiatives, etc.  Well, yes, and the general gossip too!  So you see, these big championships are the best place for me to go to see and be seen. 

So far this year I’ve managed to provide an official DSP presence at the Airgun Championships and the NRA Adaptive Championships (part of the fullbore world’s Imperial Meeting).  Last week was the turn of the smallbore rifle meeting; still to come are the first Clay Target Disabled Sportrap Championship and the UKBRA (Fullbore Benchrest) Championships, plus anything else I can squeeze into the already crowded diary. 

The NSRA was very fortunate with the weather; it was about the most consistently summery week we’ve had so far this year, with only a couple of quick showers in the nine days.  I was particularly glad about that because there seemed to be more children around than last year – many of them making the most of the safe roads inside Bisley Camp to whizz around unsupervised on their bicycles.  I do hope they're a sign that attending the championship is becoming a family affair again. 

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This meeting has always had a fair sprinkling of competitors with various types and degrees of disability or impairment.  The interesting thing is that it’s all taken absolutely for granted that these people will take part alongside everyone else.  Disabled parking passes are issued as a matter of course (about 3 dozen of them this year), and it’s not unusual to see walking sticks and the odd crutch amongst the kitbags behind the firing points during a detail.  NSRA Treasurer Richard Watchorn was there; how many people know that his loping gait is due to the fact that he has an artificial leg? 

I can remember when Charles Trotter used to drive his car right up to the firing point before levering himself upright with his two walking sticks - he was severely lame all the many years I knew him.  Other people always helped to carry his kit from the car, unasked.  Charles was one of only three shooters who have won both the Queen’s Prize (the most prestigious individual event in fullbore shooting), and the Roberts (the smallbore equivalent in the non-Olympic discipline), as well as having a distinguished international shooting career.

DSP stands, with photo displays and our promotional literature, were set up in the Stats Tent on Century Range, and in Reception at the Lord Roberts Centre.  I was also able to have our Disabled Shooting Year banner outside the Stats Tent - as you can see from the photograph, our "torch" wasn't the only one around during the week! 

For about 20 years the Rifle Meeting has included matches shot on the NSRA’s 50-metre ranges as well as the main events on the famous Century Range (known by many of the world’s top shooters to be the finest wind-doping training in the world!).  Since 2002 the 50-metre range has been in the Lord Roberts Centre, so those competitions are fully disabled-accessible.  Indeed, Karen Butler, now on her way to compete in the Paralympics, represented her county in the final event of the meeting, the Champion of Champions, at the centre. 

.22 benchrest competitions have been offered at the meeting for some years.  Last week they were shot on Century Range for the first time, alongside the main prone matches.

Benchrest on Century cW

The days I was able to spend at Bisley were extremely interesting and useful.  A lot of people picked up our leaflets from the stands, and many shooters stopped to talk about aspects of disabled target shooting.  I think the most encouraging thing I came away with was a list of more clubs that are now going to set to work on making their facilities properly disabled accessible.  This means we now have about 10 clubs doing this, all needing varying degrees of support and mentoring through the process.  That will certainly keep me occupied for some time to come! 

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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.  

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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.
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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.