Gamekeeping students from Hartpury College in Gloucester won the BASC Gamekeeping College Clay Shoot, coming first out of 21 teams from colleges across the country.
Youngsters aged 14 – 16 can be in with a shot of winning a place on a two-day, all-inclusive ‘Gamekeeping Experience’ at Newton Rigg College.
Amber Hill, a 16-year-old medal-winning clay target shot and BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year 2013, met the Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson and the Assembly’s All-Party Group on Country Sports (APG) on 25th February. Amber started shooting when she was 10 years old and her successes include winning the gold medal at the International Shooting Sport Federation World Cup in 2013. Amber’s achievements highlight the inequality between Northern Ireland, where the minimum age at which a young person can use a shotgun under supervision without a certificate is 18, and the rest of the UK where no lower age limit exists. Supervised access to shooting is essential for young people wanting to learn the safety, discipline and responsibility involved in shooting sports. Amber Hill said: “Being taught to shoot from a young age was the foundation of my success and I believe young people in Northern Ireland deserve the same opportunity. I fully support the campaign to have the age of supervised shooting reduced to 10.” Danny Kinahan said: “I welcome the lowering of the minimum age for supervised shooting in Northern Ireland which will allow our young people to train and compete at the highest level.” Tommy Mayne, director of BASC NI said: “BASC NI has been working on this issue with partner organisations the Countryside Alliance Ireland, the Gun Trade Guild NI and the Northern Ireland Firearms Dealers’ Association and we welcome the fact that Justice Minister David Ford MLA has agreed to reduce the age at which a young person can use a shotgun or airgun under supervision.” The details of the change have yet to be finalised, however BASC and partner organisations believe that 10 years, the age of criminal responsibility in Northern Ireland, is an appropriate minimum age. Tommy Mayne added: “Young people are the lifeblood of our sport and Amber Hill is a prime example of the success and benefits shooting can provide. It is important that Northern Ireland firearms legislation is changed to allow young people to be taught safety, responsibility and respect for firearms at an early age.”
Northern Ireland Justice Minister David Ford is considering lowering the age at which young people can have supervised access to shotguns and airguns to 12 years. The change has NOT happened yet, as it will have to be agreed by the Justice Committee prior to implementation however BASC and others organisations believe that 10 years of age would be more appropriate as this is the age of criminal responsibility in NI.
Young Shots from the North of England experienced coastal wildfowling for the first time at an event run by Preston and District Wildfowlers’ Association and the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC).
An Introduction to Wildfowling Day, designed to give Young Shots experience of wildfowling, will be held at Dolphin Shooting Ground, near Preston, Lancashire on Saturday 9th November.
14-year-old Josh Siddons from Bilsthorpe in Nottinghamshire and his English springer spaniel Molly won the BASC Chudleys scurry league 2013 final at the Midland Game & Country Fair on Saturday 14th September.
A Young Shots’ Progression Day, organised by BASC, will be held at Thorpe Rifle Range in the Peak District near Derbyshire on 20th October 2013.
Two introductory days, designed to provide a taste of countryside activities for women and Young Shots, will be held by BASC in Wales during August and September.