British Shooting, in partnership with Council for Cadet Rifle Shooting, is proud to introduce ‘Cadets on Target’.
‘Cadets on Target’ is a scheme set up to encourage young talent from the cadets to maintain and develop their shooting skills in adult life, thus offering a chance for them to compete at the highest levels of target shooting.
Target shooting is extraordinarily popular among the cadets of all three services. In fact, over 80% of army cadets said it's the main reason for joining and staying in the cadets. As well as that, over 10,000 cadets shoot competitively, and many achieve very high standards.
Vice President of the CCRS, Brigadier John Smales, explains: "After leaving the cadets, it is too difficult for the majority of young people to develop their shooting because they’re not aware of the available opportunities.
"Add to this the competing pressures of finding a job or going to university, as well as the cost of the sport at a time when they will be earning very little, and the majority of cadets inevitably give up shooting.
"This means many miss out on the opportunity to fulfil their potential in an Olympic sport."
England Development Manager for British Shooting, Liz Davidson, said: "Cadets on Target will make talent pathway opportunities more accessible to these young shooters, allowing us to contribute to the government’s social inclusion agenda for elite sport.
"This became a priority after the Beijing Olympics when it was revealed that 50% of Team GB’s medals were won by athletes from private education.”
Hannah Pugsley shot for Team England at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games last year, and is a former cadets. She thinks that if it wasn’t for her parents being from a shooting background, she would have found it really difficult to be as successful as she is today. She said: "It’s quite hard when you leave the cadets because unless you go to a University with a cadets group, it’s difficult to continue shooting. You definitely need a coach to help you progress your shooting. Unless you have someone there to pick out your faults as a shooter, you can’t progress. Having access to coaches would be amazing, I know it would have helped me while I was shooting on my own at University."
Nick Fellows from the CPSA said: "This was a great event and, more importantly, represented the culmination of a lot of hard work behind the scenes to bring together the cadets groups with the various shooting bodies in a unique collaboration.
"Although much current cadet activity is focussed on rifle shooting there is a great heritage of cadets going on to shoot the shotgun disciplines at a high level, including Paul Bentley who is now a Director of British Shooting and represented GBR in Olympic Skeet at the 1984 Olympic Games held in Los Angeles.
"We are now looking forward to the first shooting event of this collaboration, also in the shotgun disciplines, which will be held at Fareham Gun Club on 8th April.”
A fantastic opportunity for Cadets to get involved in target shooting is the National Schools Pistol Championships.