Youngsters and shooting sports

Young Shots team at Scrainwood, Northumberland. From left to right Oliver Gillingham, Ben Buckley, Tom Skillen and Cain Stewart.
Young Shots team at Scrainwood, Northumberland. From left to right Oliver Gillingham, Ben Buckley, Tom Skillen and Cain Stewart.

Our head coach Phil Fairless is widely known and respected for the work he has done, over the last few years, and continues to do, for young people. He is the BASC (British Association for Shooting and Conservation) Young Shots Co-ordinator for Northumberland, Tyne and Wear and Durham, fully qualified BASC Shotgun Instructor, Safety Officer and Safe Shot assessor. In 2016 he was awarded the BASC special award for his services to the countryside, shooting sports and BASC. Our other excellent coaches, Alan Hawkins, Paul Scott and Peter Simpson are all enthusiastic supporters of the Young Shots programme and have all helped hugely with the development of some of our most exciting young prospects named below.

The BASC North region has a thriving Young Shots programme and youngsters have enjoyed many different experiences and days out in the countryside in recent years. The aim is to promote shooting sports and the conservation of the countryside and to give something back to those who help the programme of whom there are many.

Like rugby, shooting encourages traditional gentlemanly behaviour, shaking hands when greeting people, and remembering their manners is expected, yet we have never had to explain that to the youngsters who come from all walks of life, they want to shoot and be involved so much, they are always on their best behaviour!

When learning to shoot, youngsters are always closely supervised and the coach remains in complete control of the guns we use. We firmly believe that if young people learn to shoot safely and competently following BASC codes of practice, it equips them with the right skills which will serve them well for the rest of their lives ensuring both their own safety and those around them. Accidents involving properly trained individuals in shooting are exceptionally rare thank goodness, and the phrase ‘safe shooting is no accident’ is an accurate one. Shooting is one of, if not the, safest sport around.

Many parents ask at what age their offspring can learn to shoot clay pigeons. Please give us a ring and have a chat, our coaches will ensure they only start to learn at the right stage of their development as safety is always paramount and we want them to thoroughly enjoy their first shooting experience.

We are very enthusiastic about bringing youngsters into shooting sports once they are old enough, they are the future of the sport. Shooting teaches them so many positive character traits, concentration, self- discipline, lateral thinking, tactics, safety and respect for others amongst many. It also gives them a sense of responsibility at an earlier age than they perhaps otherwise would. The BASC Young Shots receive many outstanding unsolicited positive compliments on their behaviour wherever they go and their maturity belies their ages. They are a credit to BASC, shooting sports and their families, and we often have a good laugh with them, interesting characters indeed!

We are very fortunate to have some outstanding youngsters coming through the BASC Young Shots programme including; 

Cain Stewart

Cain Stewart
Cain Stewart

BASC Young Shots Ambassador.

BASC North Young Shots shooting team.

Current Team GB Olympic Pathway – Olympic Skeet. Gun supplied by Beretta and supported by Northumberland Sporting Clays together with our friends at Bywell Shooting Ground, Felton, Northumberland. NE65 9QQ. (www.bywellshootingground.co.uk)

North of England junior English Skeet Team member (Bronze medal winners, British Open, Doveridge, 2016)

Gold medal winner ATEO junior rifle shooting Regional Finals, Highclere Castle, Newbury, Berkshire 2013.

Silver medal winner, ATEO junior rifle shooting National Finals, Weston Park, Shropshire. 2013.

Gold medal winner ATEO junior rifle shooting Regional Finals, Lowther, Cumbria, 2012.

Silver medal winner, ATEO junior rifle shooting National Finals, Weston Park, Shropshire, 2012.

8th November 2012. Appeared in a ‘Sporting Kids’ feature on him on BBC Look North programme following publicity in the Morpeth Herald newspaper regarding shooting achievements. Filmed and interviewed extensively whilst clay pigeon shooting with Northumberland Sporting Clays in, Northumberland aged 9.

Becky Clarey

Becky Clarey
Becky Clarey

North of England junior English Skeet team. Bronze medal winners British Open, Doveridge, 2016.

 

Oliver Gillingham

BASC North Young Shots shooting team.

BASC North Young Shots shooting team. 

 

Ben Buckley

ben-buckley
Ben Buckley

BASC Young Shots Ambassador.

BASC North Young Shots shooting team.

 

Thomas Skillen

BASC North Young Shots shooting team.

 

Amy Brown

Team GB Olympic Pathway.

BASC North Young Shots team.

 

Erin Brown

BASC North Young Shots shooting team

Conor Thorman

 

Lewis Westall

Becky Clarey and Lewis Westall
Becky Clarey and Lewis Westall

BASC North Young Shots Ambassador.

Murray MacGregor

BASC North Young Shots shooting team

Parents or family members interested in introducing youngsters to the wonderful world of shooting sports, please just give us a ring and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have and supply any advice you may need.

Contact Northumberland Sporting Clays on 01670 774380.