British Shooting continue to embark on its journey to find, recruit and develop high potential pistol and rifle shooters across the Olympic and Paralympic events.
A recent event, hosted by British Shooting, witnessed the talent and performance support teams join to assess and recruit future Paralympic stars who would join an exciting integrated programme.
The integration of the Olympic and Paralympic Talent Pathways have seen athletes and coaches come together to create a leading integrated Olympic and Paralympic pathway built around the right performance culture.
The purpose of the talent assessment day was to identify shooters who demonstrated the skills and behaviours required to successfully transition onto the British Shooting pathway programmes.
The assessment delivered a comprehensive programme of skills evaluation, classification assessment and lifestyle interview. Expressions of interest were requested from our network of ‘Disability Hub Clubs’, as well as referrals from ‘Discover Your Gold’ (a multi-sport talent identification campaign by the EIS and UK Sport), and 12 shooters were invited to attend a talent assessment day.
The talent assessment day was a tremendous success which has seen a cohort of shooters recruited onto the British Shooting pathway, both from within and outside the sport. Following the assessment, shooters were invited to take part in the Paralympic Programme Pathway programmes, two of which are members of Disability Hub Clubs – Aled Griffiths from Budleigh Farm and Liza Chapman from Hurn Rifle and Pistol Club.
Alison Web, British Shooting National Network Co-ordinator, said: "The aim of the of the Disability Hub Club scheme is to develop a network of clubs with the twofold ambition of growing the numbers of disabled people enjoying our sport and creating better connections between the clubs themselves and the World Class Performance Programme.
"We are thankful to the expertise and efforts of the clubs within this network who are helping to create the next generation of Paralympic shooters."
British Shooting are currently recruiting new Disability Hub Clubs to widen the existing network and would welcome expressions of interest from new clubs.
In addition to links with the World Class Programme (Paralympic), Hub Clubs also receive an invitation to the annual Disability Hub Club workshop, information on club development opportunities and support in the development of new local partnerships".
British Shooting welcomed the Paralympic World Class and Pathway Programmes to the organisation this funding cycle and the integration process has enabled shooters, coaches and support staff to benefit from the knowledge and experience within all events.
Dean Leak, Talent Pathways Manager, said: “As an organisation we are passionately driven around our vision to inspire a new generation to reach their potential.
"Bringing together Olympic and Paralympic shooters at all levels of the pathway has allowed shooters and coaches to create an even greater varied and inspiring training environment.
"We have a clear strategy which will enable us to reach out to various audiences to give people opportunities to get involved in the pathway, whether via our disability hub clubs or within the performance programmes to represent Great Britain to the highest level.
"Shooters, coaches and volunteers in the Performance and Talent Pathway programmes have been heavily involved in shaping the future strategy. The energy, forward thinking and commitment shown across the system will put us in a fantastic position to achieve a sustainable talent system which enables the Olympic and Paralympic pathways become world leading."
The integration of the Olympic and Paralympic programmes was further strengthened at the weekend with the ‘One British Shooting’ induction launch.
Shooters and staff across the performance and talent programmes joined together at Bisham Abbey to listen and shape the year ahead. From individual planning sessions, a fun ‘stronger together’ activity on how to work as an orchestra to athlete/staff programme expectations, the narrative of weekend was artistically illustrated by Scriberia brilliantly showing the progress made during the launch.
Steve Pengelly, British Shooting Head Pistol Coach, said: "Integrating the Olympic and Paralympic athletes within British Shooting is a huge opportunity for us. As well as creating more competitive training environments, we are able to broaden our athletes’ understanding of our sport through collective experience.
"Even in the short time since the Paralympic Pistol athletes have joined Project Pistol camps, the benefits of integrated training have been hugely appreciated by all.
"Bringing these athletes together to train really emphasises the “One British Shooting” ethos."