Professor Ann Mortimer
Region: Yorkshire, Northern region
BASC membership: 15+ years
Proposed by: D Elgie
Seconded by: S Walton
By profession I am a medical doctor and a consultant psychiatrist, now working part-time for the NHS and as a court expert witness. I am chief medical officer with Tranquillity, a mental health provider.
I came unexpectedly and late to shooting sports. I now shoot game and clays, stalk deer and enjoy air rifle and pistol plinking. I am a member at a shooting ground and a rifle club and of a ladies’ roving syndicate. I also shoot with a larger group of gentlemen and was recently taken wildfowling. I rarely go to the butcher’s these days. The social side of shooting has been of enormous and enduring benefit. One almost always meets lovely people who are passionate about their sport. I have made firm and confiding friends throughout. My autistic teenager and his Gamekeepers Welfare Trust (GWT) flag have been welcomed to join the beaters whenever I have asked. I support the GWT through my NGS garden openings.
I have lengthy senior experience in public, private and membership organisations – the NHS, universities, pharmaceutical and treatment innovation companies, and the Royal College of Psychiatrists.
Since my election to council five years ago, I have been central to substantial changes, intended to benefit BASC members and staff. I now wish to finish what I started.
Within BASC, I serve on the Executive and Finance, and the Political subcommittees. I advise BASC on medical matters related to certification, and I teach and write about mental health and firearms. The mental health benefits of shooting sports are not readily apparent and deserve promotion.
Crucially, I understand the bigger picture in that BASC must become a powerful, campaigning, political force, given escalating and unprecedented threats to shooting. BASC must at the same time greatly strengthen its engagement with its members and their needs. BASC must be both ‘top down’ and ‘bottom up’ as an organisation. The importance and value of mobilising our members, of all types, in achieving the normalisation of shooting sports among the undecided majority cannot be underestimated. BASC will best serve in this regard as a dispersed, enabling body. It must support the membership in local political influence, underpin joint initiatives to introduce shooting’s conservation, culinary and other benefits, especially to young people, while developing a highly visible presence at any event where there may be public interest.
We need to deploy our resources, primarily our members and our staff, to get organised in the most effective ways possible, and communicate our message accordingly. I would like to see BASC as a far more visible, flexible, agile and responsive organisation, open to innovation while maintaining traditional standards of excellence. We should exploit every opportunity for joint working with other countryside organisations, inward facing attitudes will not benefit any of us. Our sport will be best protected by strength in numbers: we still have only one in five, at most, of the UK’s certificate holders, we must maximise both recruitment and positive public perception to safeguard shooting into the future.
THE ELECTION IS NOW CLOSED
The election results are due to be announced at the BASC AGM on 11 July 2020.