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Government told of shooting’s unique benefits to health

Shooting gets people active, reduces social isolation and promotes well-being, a select committee inquiry was told

Olympic gold medallist Peter Wilson

Olympic disciplines are shot with a maximum of 24g loads

With potential rises in licence costs, GP fees and long waiting times for certificate renewals, shooters could be forgiven for thinking that their sport attracts little support 
from the Government.

However, good news could be on the horizon, as a result of the Digital, Culture, Media & Sport select committee inquiry into the social impact of participation in culture and sport. Organisations and the public were invited to submit evidence showing how culture and sport are linked to positive impacts on health, community and education.

shooters with dogs

Shooting is good exercise for many

Shooting promotes wellbeing

A detailed 10-page document submitted by BASC explained 
how shooting can help to get 
more people active, reduce 
social isolation and promote personal well-being while encouraging engagement 
with the natural environment.

Peter Wilson, Team GB Olympic double trap gold medallist, confirmed this 
after his 2012 success.

“Shooting really is a sport for everyone,” he said. “I cannot emphasise enough how easy it 
is to get into. Whether fat or thin, tall or short, you can shoot, so why not get involved? Six years ago 
I wanted to start shooting so I typed ‘clay pigeon shooting’ into Google and found my nearest range. I’m now a gold-medal Olympian.”

One of the questions posed by the inquiry was how could access to cultural and sporting professions be improved to enable greater diversity? In its submission BASC recommended that regional centres of excellence for shooting sports be developed across the UK so that promising shooters could be identified and coached in a consistent way to fulfil the Government’s target of creating 
a “pipeline of talent”.

Kate Ives of BASC said: “Our evidence shows how shooting supports the key themes of the inquiry, including social mobility, health, education, community engagement and diversity.”

in field with gundogs

Beating the black dog

You may remember me, or rather you may dimly recall the monthly pieces that I wrote for Shooting Times, about fishing (occasionally) and shooting…

Dr Conor O’Gorman of BASC added: “Shooting is probably unique as a recreational activity in the many ways that participants of all ages and abilities can take part on an equal footing regardless of gender and background. It contributes not only to personal well-being but also benefits and shapes the natural environment and supports livelihoods and local communities across the UK.

“BASC is leading the way in increasing participation in and awareness of shooting though 
a wide range of activities including ladies’ and Young Shots’ events, coaching at shows and jamborees, educational events for students, game cooking and so on; the list 
is long and we have detailed all 
of this in our inquiry submission.”