Having seen the fledgling events run in the UK in the summer of 2016, two highly-experienced rifle coaches, Martin Beard and John Saint, saw the huge potential of the sport. In discussions with British Shooting, they agreed to train a small squad of athletes to take part in the first ISSF Target Sprint World Championships, to be held in Suhl, Germany, in the summer of 2017. Martin was Chairman of Sedgemoor TSC in Burnham-on-Sea, so used their resources to create a special section of the club and Sedgemoor Training was born.
Pulling in a small number of athletes who had taken part in the initial competitions, adding more experienced coaches from their contacts, plus recruits from the Midland Game Fair in September 2016, monthly training weekends were held alternately in Burnham and at the NSRA range in Aldersley, Wolverhampton.
It quickly became apparent that simple 10m ranges would be inadequate and more specialist athletic facilities would be required, so a search for a suitable venue was undertaken. We were fortunate to develop a partnership with Yate Outdoor Sports Complex in Yate, near Bristol, and with the fantastic support of the local council, a dedicated 10-lane 10m range was constructed at the end of their athletics track. Yate is ideally located, being on the M4/M5 interchange, just over 2 hrs from London, 1.5 hrs from Birmingham and 3 hrs from Manchester and was chosen to be the base for the GB Squad. The rest of the facilities and access to specialist athletics coaches and training resources, made this a popular venue and regularly attracts athletes from all over the UK.
We took a small team of Juniors to the first World Championships, with the objective of getting some of them into the finals. We surpassed this with a 4th place in the women’s team event and a 4th in the mixed team, but most of the athletes qualified for the individual finals. Based on this success, we decided to take a full team of both Juniors and Seniors to the 2nd ISSF World Championships, to be held in Changwon, S. Korea.
Part of the preparations for the 2018 World Championships included competing in ISSF matches in Ora, Italy; Arnhem, Netherlands; and Suhl, Germany, with numerous medals being won. In the World Championships, we secured a Silver and two Bronze medals in the Junior individual events, plus a Silver and Bronze in the Women’s Team and a Bronze in the Mixed Team. The season ended in style, hosting an International competition in Yate, with a huge haul of medals.
Sedgemoor Target Sprint Club are dedicated to coaching and preparing athletes to compete – and win – on an international stage.
2019 will see Sedgemoor athletes compete in Italy, Germany and elsewhere – plus will host the inaugural Air Arms Cup in August.