By Gorgs Geikie
Like most shooters in the UK today, I am having to self-fund this expensive hobby we call shooting. I would love to be a full time athlete and train the sport I love day in day out, but due to the situation we are in, this is just not possible.
Sponsorship hunting has been my main campaign over the past couple of months, to help me give myself the best opportunity of achieving my dream - the London 2012 Olympics. So upon receiving an email through Martyn White from Janet Nicholl, informing me of the Great Britons competition run by British Airways offering a free BA flight to a destination of my preference, I thought it was worth a shot!
I applied online in the early hours of one morning having just finished work at the Ring O’ Bells, Chagford and didn’t think too much more of it. A few days later I viewed my application to be completely touched by the comments that people had made in their support. But a short list was formed of applicants, of which I sadly wasn’t one.
But the story doesn’t end there………………..
Life had moved on, to Switzerland in fact, where at the end of one training day I ‘did an ET’ and phoned home, to report back to the Devonshire base of the days activities. I was greeted by an excited Mother who told me that a family friend who works for BA had rung and urged me to reapply immediately. So with this glimmer of hope, I adjusted my application, had the surf board out and was riding the waves of the internet quicker than you can say “Mick Gault, Commonwealth Legend!”
Not wanting to bother people and shout from the roof tops, I sent a wee round - robin email to the majority of my contact list, simply informing those of my Great Britons application. Then as they say; “from a small seed, great things grow,” because more kind people added their comments of support, which strengthen my application that later became one of eight finalists in the running for the top spot!
For the next ten days it was mission Gorgs - Great Britons!
Feeling like a wannabe Politician, I took the chance of annoying those on my email contact list again by sending another message as votes were the order of the day! Word of mouth, phone calls etc etc….. If I thought people were amazing with their support earlier, then that was nothing compared to what was to come. The grape vine worked and people were voting from every corner of the world! Ten days later the two winners were announced, and I was flying!
Thank you SO much to all those who voted for me, it is a step in the right direction. But only a step………yes, all this for one single return flight to Zurich, SUI! At the end of the day, the biggest thing I got out of this campaign was publicity. Opening people’s eyes to the difficulties we British Pistol Shooters face is priceless, and I hope a small step forwards in making our voices heard.
Following the BA announcement I was filmed and interviewed for BBC Spotlight News South West :
An article was published in the Wall Street Journal : http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124509802628416217.html and a radio interview was conducted for NRA News in America. (The podcast for this can be heard by going to:
http://dataservices.nranews.com/audio_podcast.xml and scrolling down to ‘The Daily News 06/18/09’)
Thank you once again to all that voted for me and to those who helped spread the word in my moment of need! To this wee Devonian Lass the support was overwhelming and has encouraged me to continue to pursue my dream in these challenging times. Anything is possible……..