SHOOTING: Aiming to make national week a top target

Dorset Echo: TARGET SET: Dorchester’s Olympic double trap gold medallist Peter Wilson instructs youngsters at last year’s event TARGET SET: Dorchester’s Olympic double trap gold medallist Peter Wilson instructs youngsters at last year’s event

CLUBS in Dorset are setting their sights on taking part in this year’s National Shooting Week.

The event runs from May 24-31 and offers the public a have-a-go taste of the Commonwealth Games sports of clay pigeon and target shooting.

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 organisers are aiming to make it the best yet, with around 60 shooting grounds around the country 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.

Barney White Spunner, executive chairman of the Countryside Alliance, said: “National Shoot-ing 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 Games – who knows, we may discover a future sporting star at one of our events this year.

“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.”

Olympic double trap gold medallist Peter Wilson, who was born in Dorchester, and lives in Sherborne, said: “Shooting is an amazing sport. It instils strong values of respect, honesty, safety and a competitive spirit in those taking part, so is a great sport for children to get involved in.”

Grounds already signed up are the AA Shooting School in Stur-minster Newton and the Purbeck Shooting School, Wareham.

To find out more about NSW, go to nationalshootingweek.co.uk or telephone Countryside Alliance regional director Alison Hawes on 01752 830430 or 07710836806.

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