Cotswolds MP Geoffrey Clifton-Brown showed his support for National Shooting Week (24-31 May) with a visit to Ian Coley Sporting today (Thursday 29 May).
Mr Clifton-Brown, who is the chairman of the all-party parliamentary group for shooting and conservation in the House of Commons, visited the Andoversford shooting ground, run by former British team coach Ian Coley, to try his hand at clay pigeon shooting as part of the annual event.
Organised by the Countryside Alliance with the backing of the British Shooting Sports Council, National Shooting Week’s aims are to enable anyone to try shooting for the first time and to promote respect for and understanding of legal firearms and airguns.
The week offers target and clay pigeon shooting, often at special discounted rates, but does not feature live quarry. Around 60 shooting grounds around the country took part in this year’s event – the seventh.
Mr Clifton-Brown said: “Clay pigeon shooter Peter Wilson’s win at the 2012 Olympics was a real filip to the shooting world and we need to keep up that momentum. Shooting is a great sport and it’s really important to introduce it to new people, especially young people.”
Countryside Alliance regional director Sara Rutherford added: “Grounds like Ian Coley’s do fantastic work bringing shooting to a wide audience and cater for all abilities – from the top shots to beginners. We hope that many of the hundreds who took part across the country will have found a new hobby and will get involved in the sport.”
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FACTS ABOUT TARGET SHOOTING
Shooting contributes more than £1.6 billion to the UK economy each year and supports the equivalent of 70,000 full time jobs (PACEC report 2006)
There are over 1,000 shooting clubs in the UK
Shooting is worth £73m to the economy in Wales and provides the equivalent of 2,600 full time jobs.
Shooting Participation: 150,000 people shoot clay targets on a regular basis (PACEC 2006)
50,000 people enjoy target shooting at ranges every year (PACEC 2006)
Target Shooting as a Sport: Shooting has a big history in the Olympics, with London 2012 hosting 15 events in total - nine events for men and six for women, plus the Winter Olympics’ biathlon events.
Recent successes include Peter Wilson winning gold at London 2012 and World Class skeet shooter Amber Hill winning the 2013 BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year.
There is great expectation of success from British shots at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
National Shooting Week: More than 20,000 newcomers have tried shooting over the previous six National Shooting Weeks, with an estimated 12,000 staying on within the sport.