Age, sex, ability, boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife etc. etc. are no barriers to shooting. The sport is open to all.
There are nominally six ways by which any eligible enthusiast can engage with BSB R+PC and enjoy the lawful sport of shooting as an ongoing pastime.
1 – An “Event” Experience (e.g. Picnic-in-the-Park, An University Open Day).
2 – Pre-Membership “Acquaintance Evenings” on the Range.
3 – As a New Member – Novice.
4 – As a New Member – Established Shooter.
5 – As a New Member – On a YPS Course.
6 – As an Existing Member – Exploring existing and new skills well into maturity
1 – An “Event” Experience
In summer we join the wider community at Queens Park for their Party-In-The-Park fun day. For our part we run a Shooting Experience on our outdoor range that is designed to be accessible to all and is usually based around air rifle shooting over a distance of some 5 meters from a fixed bench rest. Every participant is coached on a one-to-one basis by an experienced member of the club, ensuring maximum safety and encouraging the youngsters to challenge their chaperones. It can get very competitive. Officers of the club are on hand to discuss becoming a member and joining our training schemes.
We also involve with open day events at Chapel Gate arranged by Bournemouth University, our landlord. Dealing with an older and more “responsible” but closed group enables us to offer a wider range of disciplines, other than bench air rifle.
2 – Pre-Membership “Acquaintance Evenings” on The Range.
You don’t have to trip over us at an “Event” in order to start shooting.
We typically shoot on three evenings during the week at our Chapel Gate range.
Other than “Events”, these evenings offer the ideal opportunity for individuals new to the sport to begin their experience of shooting as a pastime. For reasons of physical development, the youngest age for shooting is normally restricted to 12 years old. But do enquire anyway.
Our selection of disciplines on offer for an experience evening include:
Air Rifle – 20yds – Bench
Air Rifle – 20yds – LWS Sporter & Precision
Air Pistol – 10m
.22 Rifle – 25yds – Bench
.22 Rifle – 20yds – LWS Sporter & Precision
.22 Rifle – 25yds – Prone
Once a member and having demonstrated the necessary skills we can also offer .22 prone rifle at 25, 50 and 100yds on our outdoor range at Queen’s Park.
As a self-funded club, we of course rely on contributions from members and clearly we have to preserve our funds to maintain facilities, buy equipment etc. So, we limit newcomers to a maximum of three low cost opportunities to join us on the 25yd range at Chapel Gate and try the various disciplines, prior to becoming a member.
The first session will be largely learning what we do, meeting officers, instructors and other club members and generally getting a feel for the club ‘vibe’. If possible, and subject to a satisfactory Section 21 declaration, novices can try a one-to-one supervised shoot using a club air rifle and bench support. We provide access to club firearms, equipment and ammunition. The only charge is our £3 range fee, as paid by all members every time they use the range.
3 – As a New Member – Novice.
Having experienced some of the various disciplines that we offer during their acquaintance evenings, novice newcomers will have a good idea of the type of shooting they would like to follow and can start training . If this is not the case then additional disciplines can be tried.
Having decided on which discipline you to intend pursue, your allocated instructor will start you on a learning programme intended to teach you range safety skills, etiquette, and the basic skills of shooting. You will also be given written guidance notes and a training diary. In this way you can track progress and other instructors can step in as and when the need arises and keep your career progressing forward.
Shooting is one of those sports where one never stops learning and as you learn your abilities develop. Testing your skills is the next obvious step. Keeping records of your scores allows the club captain to calculate an “average” that can be used to enter competitions. Competitions are graded, so you are shooting against those with a similar average giving everyone a chance of winning
4 – As a New Member – Established Shooter
Life changes and this can impact on a shooting career.
Several shooters have found themselves devoting their time to family life and/or career development only to drift away from the sport, They later seek to return when free time returns.
There are also occasions when others are looking for a new venue to continue their shooting career after an existing club has closed or they have relocated (change of job or retirement, for example).
A few new “experienced” members also join us following a career in the services or return to a once enjoyed activity from the days of their youth.
Our view is “good on you” and “go for it”, we’re here to help.
As a long-established club many of our members have come to us for these very reasons.
The Pre-Membership Acquaintance option is available to all and that includes established shooters. Established shooters are of course more likely to have their favourite discipline and potentially their own equipment. One-to-one supervision, however, is not negotiable until our confidence in your abilities grows sufficiently.
Some established shooters may have been known to someone in the club for a number of years. In which case we seek to make the transition as smooth as possible.
For those who come to us as strangers membership of the club is of course open but we always insist on a probationary period before we are able to sponsor applications for firearms certificates etc.
5 – As a New Member – On a YPS Course
The club is focussed on establishing and developing new talent in shooting. Our future depends on it.
To this end several of our members have undertaken formal training as Club Instructors both under NSRA and YPS programmes.
The YPS programmes are accredited for Scouts and Duke of Edinburgh awards.
6 – As an Existing Member – Exploring Existing and New Skills
Our existing members regularly shoot in postal team and individual leagues run by Dorset, Hampshire and the NSRA. Our Club Instructors are of course on hand to help them develop their skills and support them on occasions when scores plummet, as they so often do!
By improving their averages shooters entering league competitions come to the notice of organisers running county teams and they progress to becoming eligible to shoot for their home county.
This opens up a new dimension that can lead to national competitions and GB representation. The club has links to county coaches, regional squads and beyond.
Help at club level is always welcome. There is always the need for Range Conducting Officers (RCOs) to help run operations. Typically RCO is often the first step in gaining formal qualifications in the sport. Beyond RCO there is Scorer, Club Instructor, Club Coach, County Coach, National Coach and so on. All of which come with experience and some formal training. We also need officers for the club Chairman, Secretary, Captain and so on.
SHOOTING CAN BE A CAREER FOR LIFE FROM PRE-TEEN TO OAP.