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Milton Abbey wins Schools’ Shooting Competition

Milton Abbey pupils are celebrating after winning the recent Millfield Shooting Competition – coming 1st to beat 26 other competing school teams.  

This fantastic win was testament to the pupils’ skill and the excellent training they have received all term from Purbeck Shooting School, widely acknowledged to be one of the best shooting schools in the country.

                                          

The Milton Abbey Clay Pigeon Shooting Club meets three times a week when most of their friends are taking part in more conventional sports such as rugby, football or hockey; for pupils with an interest in this area there is also a Target Shooting Club and opportunities exist to go deer stalking.  However three times a week the team sets off to Purbeck for their training accompanied by Milton Abbey teacher Jordan Williams.  There is a tangible sense of focus to the training they receive there as Graham Brown, the Managing Director at Purbeck Shooting School explains, “Purbeck Shooting School prides itself on doing things correctly; the main thing is that when the pupils come to us we make sure the gun fit is right so they have the best opportunity to shoot correctly.  We also structure the teaching in such a way that it is staged from one week to the next, with each lesson following on logically from previous lesson so that the pupils can see their progress clearly.”

Many independent schools hold clay shooting competitions but Millfield is generally regarded as being the best in terms of the level of skill required to win and there is a healthy rivalry between the schools’ two teams with Milton Abbey knowing the stiffest competition is likely to come from Millfield.   The competition itself consists of two sections.  Firstly there is a 40 bird sporting shoot where each pupil shoots 40 times at a variety of different incoming targets coming from different directions and at different heights.   Secondly there is a team element in what is called a ‘flush’ – this is where a team stands in a line and various clays are fired above them either from the left, right or directly above them which means that the pupils have to communicate effectively with each other under considerable pressure and in an extremely fast moving environment.  The fact that this is done in front of all the other competing teams just adds to the pressure.
       
                                          


Milton Abbey teacher, Jordan Williams, explains “Clay Pigeon shooting is something of a hard sport to quantify as on the one hand the pupils have to work as members of a team and yet when it really starts to count, and the clays start to fly, the pupils are completely on their own - there is nowhere to hide when they make a mistake.  It is no coincidence that all the successful shooters I have met have a certain air of quiet confidence and an unshakeable but modest belief in their own abilities.”

Milton Abbey is hoping to hold their own school shooting competition next year in conjunction with Purbeck Shooting School and is looking forward to seeing their team continue to grow in confidence.   Graham Brown continues, “I saw great potential in the Milton Abbey team from the start and it has been good to see their confidence grow as they started to believe in themselves.  It was a pleasure for me to be at the competition and to see the boys realise the fruits of their labour.  I know that with the right support they have even more potential and go on to greater successes ahead.”  The Team's next big competition will be the prestigious ‘Fido May’ Competition (at Harrow School) in February.

                                          

Photos of the winning Clay Pigeon Shooting A Team: Zach, Will and George.
Photos by Cornwell Photography