2012 National Shooting Competition

Following the successful second county shooting competition held
on 14 and 15 January 2012 at Altrincham Target Sports Centre, 16
scouts started regular weekly training. The National Scout Team
shooting Competition was due to be held in March 2012, and the plan
to improve on the County’s performance at the 2011 competition.

With improving scores, selecting a team was not easy, but
eventually a team of eight and a reserve was selected. The team
included three members of the 2011 team, two scouts who had not
been available for selection in 2011 and three new members. A last
minute problem cropped up when the minibus we planned to use failed
its MOT. Willing parents offered to drive down at short notice, but
then 3rd Altrincham’s minibus became available at 36
hours notice, so even more changes to the plans, but we were able
to travel as a team.

On Sunday 25 March, after a short night’s sleep due to the
clocks going forward, the team piled into the mini-bus and headed
off for Wolverhampton. This year the competition was fully booked,
with 15 teams of eight scouts taking part.

First off was a safety briefing at 9.30am, followed by the
competition starting with air rifle shooting at 10.00am. We had
2hrs 30mins for the whole team to shoot, which is not as long as it
sounds for eight people to shoot their 20 shots each, but shooting
at a steady pace, the team finished within the time limit. After a
packed lunch, the air pistol shooting started in the afternoon,
Again 2.5hrs for the team to shoot.

The team scored 1185 in the air rifle, over 300 points more than
the 2011 team achieved and was lying in 4th place after
the first half of the competition. In air pistol the team score was
1133, not quite such a big improvement, but still over 100 points
better than in 2011.  The team took 6th place in
the air pistol and overall finished up with a total score of 2318,
putting the team in 5th place out of the 15 teams that
were taking part.

This was a great performance by the team, and while they were
129 points behind the first placed team, they were 139 points ahead
of the sixth placed team, so were definitely in contention. The
whole team can be congratulated. The 2011 team set the standard
with an 8th place the first time the county entered the
competition.  The 2012 team has raised the bar and set a real
challenge for the team next year.

It was a team effort, with everyone doing their best for the
team, and every member of the team was place in the top half of the
120 competitors taking part. The team’s top scorer was, once again,
Richard Gould, who, having joined the Scouts National Shooting
Squad last year, this year went a step further, and has been
invited to join the GB Junior National Squad. He deserves our
congratulations for a fine performance. Two other team members, Sam
Entwistle and Chris Jones, were this year invited to join the
Scouts National Shooting Squad as a result of their performance.
Congratulations to them as well.

Regular shooting practice, twice a month on Saturday
mornings, will resume in April. Any scouts in the county who are
interested in taking part should contact Ian Jones on <a
href=”mailto:shooting@nulltalktalk.net”>shooting@nulltalktalk.net for
more information. Who knows, maybe you will be in the 2013 team,
and get an invitation to join the Scouts National Shooting
squad.

Here is the Greater Manchester West team that entered the
competition.

National Team 2012