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Concerns raised over Olympic shooting venue

Sports minister Richard Caborn recently admitted that the Government has not met shooting organisations to discuss critical concerns over what many in the shooting world regard as the irrational siting of the 2012 Olympic shooting events.

Current proposals are to spend the Olympic shooting budget on the creation of temporary facilities at the Royal Artillery Barracks, at Woolwich, which will include spending £18million on a temporary indoor shooting hall with seating for 7,500 people, despite the existence of the world-class National Shooting Centre at Bisley, 30 or so miles away from the centre of London. In early 2004, it was the site preferred by the Olympic Committee, but the International Olympic Committee?s subsequent concern that it was too far from London forced the bid organisers to rethink.

In February, the National Small-Bore Rifle Association published alternative proposals for Olympic shooting at Bisley, which would save the organisers £7million over building the temporary Woolwich site. In the NSRA?s proposal, the organisation stated: ?There would appear to be no rhyme or reason for choosing Woolwich, except that it is closer to the Olympic village. It is more costly to build and staff, there is no legacy and for the people of Woolwich it will be unacceptably noisy.?