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Commonwealth Games shot Neil Stirton champions National Shooting Week

Shooting grounds across Scotland are taking part in National Shooting Week 2014. The event runs from 24-31 May and offers the public a have-a-go taste of the Commonwealth Games sports of clay pigeon and target shooting.

And we are delighted to announce that Team Scotland shooter Neil Stirton has thrown his support behind the week.

He said: “Shooting is the most incredible sport. It teaches safety, responsibility and really good values. It does a lot of good for young people, whether they are from a city background or the wildest of Scotland’s countryside. It's a wonderful life discipline. 

“I found shooting through family connections, enjoyed the target element and wanted to learn more. I luckily found Denwood Target Shooting Centre, and its resident club Bon-Accord Rifle club and after a year of using club equipment I went on to buy my first rifle, a lightweight BSA Mk III. I really believe that we need more initiatives like the National Shooting Week to allow newcomers to discover the sport and who knows, we might even discover a new Commonwealth or Olympic hopeful. I found a direction in my life through shooting and it set me up beautifully."

Neil started target shooting at the age of 12. He will compete in the 50m rifle prone pairs at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games this summer, an event in which he has previously won silver and gold.

Organised by the Countryside Alliance with the backing of the British Shooting Sports Council, this year will be the seventh National Shooting Week (NSW) and we are aiming to make it the best yet, with around 60 shooting grounds around the country and eight in the East, having signed up.

NSW’s main aims are to enable anyone to try shooting for the first time and to promote respect for and understanding of legal firearms and airguns and last year hundreds of people were welcomed to the sport at special newcomers’ events.

The week offers target and clay pigeon shooting, often at special discounted rates, but does not feature live quarry.

Jamie Stewart, director of the Scottish Countryside Alliance, said: “National Shooting Week is an important date in the diary and has encouraged thousands of people to take up a new sport over the years. Interest in shooting is at a high following our victories at the 2012 Olympics and in the run up to the Commonwealth. We are very grateful to the shooting grounds who are taking part in NSW this year. Their training and enthusiasm is a real asset to the week.”

Grounds taking part in NSW, so far include:
Clachnacuddin Small Bore Rifle Club – Inverness – all week - http://www.nationalshootingweek.co.uk/event-search/251
Cluny Clays – Fife – all week - http://www.nationalshootingweek.co.uk/event-search/18
Hopetoun Clays – West Lothian - all week - http://www.nationalshootingweek.co.uk/event-search/197

To find out more about NSW and the grounds taking part in the scheme, go to www.nationalshootingweek.co.uk and to try shooting at a NSW centre as part of a press article, either contact the ground directly or ScottishCountryside Alliance director Jamie Stewart at [email protected]

FACTS ABOUT TARGET SHOOTING
Shooting Overview:
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
A new report by PACEC, which will include an in-depth look at target shooting, is being published in 2014.

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 large 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.

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