On Wednesday 29th June, I was invited to Torbay Leisure Centre where 400 students aged Year 6 and 7 from 41 Schools across the Bay, gathed for a fantastically organised day of sport.
The children took part in Futsal, Badminton, Archery, Triathlon (swimming, run to the previously fitted bike and then run) Athletics/Quadkids, Boccia, Table Tennis, Wii Fit and Dance Mat. It was great to see the children having such fun, but with a definite competitive twist! The GCSE PE students ran it with the help of some teachers and John, the 'big white chief'! They even let me have a go at some of the activities!
I was invited as a Lloyds Bank Local Hero along with Jay Tompson, gymnast. It was fascinating questioning him about his training and very amusing to find out we have the same sporting hero.............the legend that is Jonny Wilkinson!
Lucy Ascheson and Ellen McCarthy, two lovely young ladies and great sporting talents of South Devon!
What’s occurring? After returning from my eventful competition in Hannover, priority lay in fixing my Air Pistol. So it was straight on the phone to Harry Preston, the Steyr technician for help! And sure enough a week later, my trusty pistol returned back in full working order. What a star Harry is!
A weeks worth of training was then spent getting used to the altered trigger, ready for the British Pistol Club competition (held at Bisley, Surrey) that weekend. This, another important competition in the UK, as it was a ‘nominated’ GBR meeting; therefore the scores would be counted for World Cup selection. Delivering once again a sold performance of 379/400, unfortunately this was two points short of the qualifying standard set by British Shooting that is needed.
Annoyingly, (but you have smile about it), one month ago at the British Pistol Club May meeting I shot a seasons best of 383/400, exceeding the standard required by two points! Going into this competition I thought it was a ‘nominated meeting’ therefore qualification sorted, but later to discover not! But a personal step forwards, and that is all you can do!
My attention then turned to Sport Pistol. Four days later, ‘Steve’ (my Go Team Gregory car) headed back up the A303 to Bisley, for a couple of days training and competing in trials matches. Once again this month’s one opportunity to live fire our .22 Pistols was hindered! The original four day camp was halved to just two, as a result of the range being double booked over the weekend and a historical gun club seen as having greater importance than the British Squad training and being selected for the London Olympics. Life as a British Pistol Shooter isn’t made easy for sure, so the 09:00-12:30 morning and 13:30-16:30 afternoon sessions (the times we are restricted to live fire on the Melville range) had to be maximised.
The outcome of the two days personally was two steps forward and one step back! ‘Precision,’ the first half of the Sport Pistol course of fire, is an area which I struggle with. But my hard work in this area had definitely has paid off. I frightened my personal best of 18months ago. My form and confidence is blossoming! But then sport in general is a great leveller, as my usual strong ‘Rapid’ half of the Sport Pistol competition didn’t go according to plan!
I am remaining positive as ever, for a couple of reasons…..1. Precision, the area where I’ve been loosing a lot of points is now back pushing world class. 2. My rapid, this was just a two-day psychological blip. 3. Even with a fractionally slow shot (so a maximum of 10 points lost!) I came 2nd by one point!
Now back home in Devon, it’s head down, full steam ahead with training! I will succeed. My sights are set on 21st-23rd July, selection for .22 Europeans.
Gorgs Geikie and Rory Warlow were on the BBC Radio Cornwall on Saturday 11th June, you can listen to the interview online:
Listen now (0:30 onwards)