Shooting being exempt from the latest COVID-19 restrictions in England is great news for our sport and our country. However, the media hysteria surrounding the announcement shows the upward struggle we face to win over public support.
Let’s start from a shooting perspective. Through in-depth lobbying we have successfully managed to have shooting included within the list of more than 30 organised team sports which have been exempted from the ‘rule of six’. By showing that shooting can take place in a COVID-secure manner we have ensured that teams can continue to enjoy a day’s outing.
Unlike close contact sports of football and rugby, shooting is relatively simple to keep socially distanced. So why the media hysteria when the Government announced shooting can continue?
Compared to other sports such as football, netball and ultimate frisbee, shooting is seen as controversial and therefore an easy target. The press ignored the existence of our COVID-secure guidance to exercise a few prejudicial stereotypes.
BASC’s press release announcing the news showcased how this decision is significant for the rural economy, conservation and participants’ well-being. However, the tabloids only focused on party politics.
This was not helped by some Labour and Green MPs opting to take a cheap shot soon after the announcement. Simply put, shooting is part of a much bigger picture than just those pulling the trigger. BASC is supportive of all aspects of the day, from the beaters and pickers-up to the chefs, publicans and hoteliers.
BASC continues to work towards setting the story straight. For our members who are now permitted to continue their hobby, please ensure you abide by all the guidelines, showcase shooting’s benefits far and wide and enjoy your days out in the countryside.