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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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Please note that this guidance is neither exhaustive, nor compiled by a qualified expert.  It is only intended to give a brief outline to help people get started.  Anyone applying for funding must do their own reading and research, and if necessary seek competent advice, to ensure that they understand what is required; they must not rely on this information!

 Contents of this article:

 Union Jack money box

  •  What can be funded
  •  Who can apply
  •  When to apply
  •  How to apply
  •  Further information

What can be funded

Almost anything!

Capital expenditure:

  • New buildings
  • Alterations to and refurbishment of existing buildings
  • Provision of disabled access (ramps, lifts, doorways, toilets, etc.)
  • External infrastructure (approach roads, car parks, paths, etc.)
  • New fixtures, fittings and range equipment (e.g. shooting benches, 2-way radios for range safety)
  • Shooting equipment, including specialised items like acoustic shooting set-ups
  • Training equipment (electronic training systems, etc.)
  • Computers and peripherals, where these are clearly needed for the benefit of your organisation, e.g. to run a website, do promotional presentations, operate electronic targetry, training equipment, etc.


  • Course fees for RCOs, coaches, helpers, treasurers, etc.
  • Out of pocket expenses incurred in attending courses.

NB: It is best to work out all the training that members will need/wish to undertake in a 12-month period, and submit an application to cover the cost of the whole lot.  This is much better than applying for a separate small grant for each person or course; less effort, demonstrates good planning, and is more likely to be successful.   

Schemes and projects:

  • Design and development of websites
  • Design and development of promotional material; presentations, printed material, etc.
  • Organisation of promotional events; taster days, guest days, etc.
  • Schemes and projects aimed at developing the sport and/or attracting people into it (especially the key groups of disabled, young people, older people, and women)  

Who can apply

Voluntary bodies (members’ clubs and associations)
They can apply for the widest range of funding options.

Commercial organisations (shooting grounds, clubs or ranges run as a business or part of a business)
Some funding bodies will not accept applications from them. 

Not so much funding is available, unless they have disabilities or impairments, or have been identified as potential elite performers. 

When to apply

Before any work is done on the scheme or project for which the funds are sought.  You will find that all grant-giving bodies refuse to fund anything that has been done before the date on which they decide on an application, and many will not fund “work in progress”, so you must get the funding agreed before anyone starts work. 

How to apply

Some of the points under this heading may appear to be statements of the blindingly obvious.  They are included because sometimes people who are dealing with lots of unfamiliar paperwork do overlook such things - and kick themselves afterwards for doing so!

Available as a download is a helpful article from the Winter 2006/7 issue of The Rifleman about how the Northamptonshire county association applied successfully for an Awards for All grant to cover the cost of range repairs.  Since the article was written sports grants have been taken out of the Awards for All system and are now administered (in exactly the same way) as the Sport England Small Grants Scheme.

Get advice
Unless your scheme or project is very straightforward, seek advice from your national governing body (it’s what you pay your subscriptions for), from appropriate specialist bodies (such as the Disabled Shooting Project), and/or from the local County Sports Partnership (CSP).  Every county has a CSP (some go under different names) which can be contacted via the county council, or the CSP Network website.  Their task is to facilitate development of and participation in sport, and their services are free (it’s what you pay Council Tax for).  They can advise on the best funding bodies to approach, including local ones which are often little known about, and on putting together your application package.  They also have lots of useful contacts for specialist information and advice. 

Sort out exactly what you are seeking funding for 
Check carefully that you have thought of everything that might be necessary.

Big blue tick

Strengthen your case
The more “desirable factors” boxes you can tick, the better the chances of success.  The strongest ones to go for are:

  • Disabled participation (especially for more severe disabilities, and for military personnel disabled on active service)
  • Participation by young people (especially girls)
  • Participation by older people (especially women)
  • Elite participation
  • Environmental friendliness (use of re-cycled or up-cycled materials, alternative energy, wildlife conservation, etc.)
  • Benefit to the local community

If you can combine some of these, so much the better:

  • Could your new car park provide space for a community re-cycling centre?
  • Is there space for a couple of allotments, or a school garden?
  • Could some of the work be carried out by local people with disabilities?

Produce costings
Get several quotations or estimates.  Examine carefully any that are dramatically lower than the others. 

Chose the right bodies to apply to
Check all the guidance and small print carefully to make sure that what you want funded falls within their criteria.  If it doesn’t, chose another funder, as it’s almost impossible to get bodies to step outside their criteria. 
As a general rule, the bodies that provide larger grants have much more complicated application forms and processes.  If your scheme can be divided into several elements (e.g. installing disabled toilets, providing special equipment, and training coaches) it might be worth applying for separate funding for each element.  This means applying to separate bodies, not making more than one application to the same organisation!


Use a checklist
Take care to identify everything that must be included in the application, and sent with it.
Then take care that it is all included and sent. 

Read the application and accompanying bumph
Like an examination paper; make sure you understand the questions and can answer them all. 
Be intelligible
The people considering the application may well know nothing at all about the sport.  Provide enough background information for them to understand fully what you are applying for.  If you have to use sport-specific terms (jargon), make sure you explain what they mean. 
NB: The DSP can provide copies of its information pack to support applications relating to disabled participation in the sport. 

Be persuasive
Set out all the reasons for making the application, and the benefits that will flow from receipt of the funding.  Put them down in a logical order, with the most important ones at the top of the list.  Emphasise the benefits to the tick-box groups mentioned above, ahead of the benefits for the ordinary members/participants.  If it is obvious that the body you are applying to is particularly interested in something (e.g. young people in sport), make sure that you mention points relevant to that topic early on, and re-emphasise them where appropriate. 
Remember that a picture is worth 1,000 words; and exactly the right picture is worth a fortune.  If you’ve got exactly the right picture, put it on the front cover when you submit the application. 

Be thorough
Set out clearly the objective(s) for which you are seeking funding.
Demonstrate that you have a clear plan for accomplishing your objective(s).
Try to anticipate what questions might be raised by those considering the application, and include the answers at the outset; it may avoid delay later. 
If you know that a significant problem might arise, bear in mind that it may also be apparent to those considering the application.  Consider whether it would be best to mention it in the application and explain how it will be dealt with if it does arise, rather than not mentioning it and hoping they won’t notice. 

Be concise
If you feel that lengthy explanations are necessary to clarify certain points, it’s best to put them in a separate document referred to in the main application.  The people who read it will want to be able to grasp all the keys points of the application on their first read through, then look at the detailed explanations. 
Avoid unnecessary repetition, and don’t waffle!

Look professional
A neatly-presented application package will create a good initial impression.  Try to ensure that there are no obvious grammatical errors, spelling mistakes or typos. 

Person in wheelchair shaking hands with person standing up 

Recruit support
Identify any organisations and/or individuals whose support may be influential, and ask them to provide letters or statements to accompany the application. 
NB: The DSP is able to provide letters of support where funding is sought for something connected with disabled participation in the sport. 

Keep copies
Make copies of the application and everything sent with it, as you may need to refer to them in order to answer any queries raised by the body applied to.
Also keep copies of anything submitted subsequent to the application. 

Request an acknowledgement
This confirms that the application has arrived safely.  You can also ask when a decision is likely to be made, as you will need that date for planning purposes. 

These web pages contain useful tips on how to prepare good applications, and advice on avoiding pitfalls.
Funding Central
Lottery Funding
CW Sport

Further Information

The DSP’s Co-ordinator, Liz Woodall, wrote a two-part article on Grants, Sponsorship and Other Fundraising for the NSRA’s journal The Rifleman.  It appeared in the Summer and Autumn issues of 2008.  The article is now available on this site as a download

Dr. Terri Byers, Principal Lecturer on Sport Management at Coventry Business School (part of Coventry University) has been producing guidance for the Funding 4 Sport e-bulletins.  It is available on this site as a download.  NB: This may be added to, so it might be worth re-visiting from time to time. 

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

Union Jack moneybox

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.