On Wednesday 7 December 2016, the RAU Shooting Club held their first in-house end of term shoot. It was kept simple, with a 50-bird sporting layout set over six stands at our local ground, Hollow Fosse. This layout was a very good combination of close targets, quartering, crossers and some further away which balanced very well for a small layout.

We shoot at Hollow Fosse every Wednesday for our normal practises set by Martin and Bruce. They are known for the deceiving targets which always look that bit ‘easier’ than what they really are, which always adds some entertainment.

I started shooting properly in the summer, after I started working part-time at Barbury Shooting School, where I could practise on the 100-sporting layout and get some lessons fitted around work time. I also bought my first gun, a Beretta 697s 12 bore, from Wiltshire Rod and Gun, my local gun shop in Swindon. After this, my scores improved and were a lot more consistent, so I continued to work on my shooting since. Once I started university, I was lucky enough to make the ladies shooting team. This meant I started shooting competitively too and it helped to improve my shooting a lot.

As the RAU Christmas Cup was a competition, the shooting club executives had organised scorers and sponsors for the event. It made it more interesting than normal, adding a competitive feel to the day. BASC had sponsored the ladies’ categories for the day, alongside the GWCT who sponsored the men’s prizes. Overall, I was happy with my score as I was in the 30s. I was even more pleased that I came first, however, as it was my first individual win and I took away 250 cartridges and a cleaning kit with a few goodies from BASC too.

I now plan to work on my shooting and progress further into the New Year and hopefully pick up a few prizes along the way at the university competitions we have lined up. At the moment, I am trying to get as much practise in while I can and use every opportunity to improve my shooting.

Rachel Parker-Kemp (Ladies Winner)

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