by Countryside Alliance

House of Commons, Adjournment Debate

“Sport of shooting at the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games” (Jim Shannon, DUP, Strangford)

Background:

  • As well as shooting being a hobby and a necessity for many jobs, it is also a competitive sport with shooters from the UK taking part in a variety of domestic and international competitions.
  • At least 600,000 people in the UK shoot live quarry, clay pigeons or targets every year. This includes 280,000 people who take part in clay pigeon shooting, and 168,000 people who take part in small or full-bore rifle shooting.
  • Last year the Commonwealth Games Federation announced their decision not to include shooting sports in the 2022 Games in Birmingham. Shooting is an optional sport for host cities but it has been contested at every Commonwealth Games since Kingston, Jamaica in 1966, with the exception of Edinburgh in 1970.
  • The decision is reportedly due to “lack of appropriate facilities” near to the host city. Bisley Shooting Ground in Surrey, which hosted the shooting at the Commonwealth Games in Manchester in 2002, was apparently dismissed as too far away, despite plans for track cycling to be held in London.
  • Shooting contributed 15 medals to England’s medal tally at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, and England has won a total of 168 shooting medals in all previous Commonwealth games — more than any other competing nation and over 20 per cent of the medals available.
  • The 2018 Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast, Australia, will include four shooting disciplines – Fullbore, Pistol, Rifle and Shotgun. The shooting program will be held at the Belmont Shooting Centre in Brisbane, where 20 athletes from Team England will compete in 19 separate events.

Countryside Alliance Position:

  • The Countryside Alliance is deeply disappointed at the news that all shooting sports are to be excluded from the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
  • This decision by organisers will undoubtedly leave hundreds of professional competitors from around the world angry and disappointed. Whilst shooting is particularly competitive in the UK it also offers huge potential for smaller nations that focus on shooting sports.
  • The Government must ensure that this decision will not affect the funding of British Shooting which is the governing body for sport shooting in the UK through which our shooting sportsmen and women are supported.
  • There must be a commitment from the Commonwealth Games Federation to include shooting in the 2026 Games, and look to include shooting as one of the sports which host cities must be able to accommodate rather than it being an optional sport.
  • Consideration should be given to holding an international shooting competition in the UK to coincide with the 2022 Games.
  • The Government must support plans to increase and improve facilities for competitive shooting in the UK.


The Value of Shooting:

  • An independent PACEC survey on the value of the shooting in the UK reported the following information:
    • Shooting is worth £2 billion to the UK economy (GVA).
    • Shooting supports the equivalent of 74,000 full-time jobs.
    • Shooting is involved in the management of two-thirds of the rural land area.
    • Nearly two million hectares are actively managed for conservation as a result of shooting.
    • Shoot providers spend nearly £250 million a year on conservation.
    • At least 600,000 people in the UK shoot live quarry, clay pigeons or targets.
    • Shooters spend 3.9 million work days on conservation – the equivalent of 16,000 full-time jobs.

For more information please contact:

Liam Stokes
Head of Shooting
Liam-stokes@countryside-alliance.org
0207 840 9234


James Somerville-Meikle
Political Relations Manager
James-sm@countryside-alliance.org
0207 840 9260

 

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