I am overwhelmed to have been asked to write a guest blog for The Country Girls UK about my journey into competitive shooting. As most of you may not know, this community is one of the main reasons I started competitive shooting. So firstly I want to thank not only Tania who is absolutely amazing but the other few thousand ladies who constantly offer advice and support to not just me but every single lady who’s part of the group, no matter their background or sector they are involved in.
I first started shooting a little over a year ago, after being introduced to it by my partner. I fell in love with shooting clays rather quickly and it wasn’t long before I started getting involved with different ladies’ days and at my local clay ground. It was at my local ground where I was introduced to Down The Line (DTL) by one of the lovely ladies there. Trap grounds are really common round my area so I’m lucky to have plenty of grounds to help with training and competitions, but in some areas, trap isn’t as common. If you head to the CPSA website you can search for practice and competition grounds in your areas by disciplines and from there you can book lessons or just have a go.
From the first time I shot DTL, I was hooked! I jumped straight into practicing as much as possible and it wasn’t long before I entered my first competition. I will never forget how nervous I was for my first competition; I was shaking so much! I shot a 76/223, a lot of people ask how DTL is scored so here’s a quick breakdown. You shoot 100 targets and can have two shots at each target. A first barrel kill is awarded 3 points, a second barrel kill is 2 points and a loss is a loss. This means the maximum score you can get is a 100/300. I’m not quite there… yet!
Since starting competitive shooting I have competed every weekend bar lockdown, at a variety of different grounds. I shot my first major DTL comp over 3 days in some horrendous weather, so that was an experience! I’ve also shot in the British & English Open All Round where I was thrilled to be placed 4th in my class! Recently I shot for Nottinghamshire in the Intercounties All Round and was part of the winning ladies’ team, receiving my first shooting medal.
I’m not going to lie to you this year has been tough! I’ve worked extremely hard in practice and my competitions to hopefully put good enough scores in come January for the England selection invites. So now winter is here I’m glad to be having a little bit of a break.
I’ve had the best year shooting, I’ve met some amazing people along the way and have been lucky enough to work with some fantastic brands and sponsors who have support me. Thank you to everyone that’s helped make this happen.
If any of you ladies are considering getting into competitive shooting please don’t hesitate to ask me any questions, I’d be more than happy to point you in the right direction of some amazing coaches, no matter what discipline you are thinking of getting involved in. Just do it!
Article written by Alix Jade