New govt sports strategy doesn’t mention shooting

4 Jan 2016 – The government’s latest sports strategy document doesn’t once mention shooting, despite the Great Britain Palma Team’s latest victory and other shooting sports successes.

Available on the Parliament website (PDF), the paper, titled Sporting future: a new strategy for an active nation, sets out the government’s priorities for sports over the coming years.

Not once in the 84-page document are the words “shooting”, “shoot”, “rifle”, “pistol” or “shotgun” mentioned.

The document itself focuses heavily on mass-market sports chosen for their broad appeal to spectators – mainly football – as well as Olympic sports and, to a lesser extent, other sports that concentrate on physical recreation. Both areas tend to rule out the vast majority of shooting disciplines.

Also mentioned are the ancillary benefits of mass-market sports, namely increased economic activity through TV channel subscriptions and stadium ticket sales, and helping UK diplomatic objectives by projecting soft power abroad.

UKSN comment

It seems to UK Shooting News’ author that, despite the number of shotguns and firearms covered by FACs and SGCs being at a record high, fullbore disciplines may need to evolve spectator and TV-friendly variants to secure a higher public profile.

The clay pigeon world managed this successfully and Peter Wilson’s Olympic victory was watched by hundreds of thousands. Airgun and .22″ precision target rifle are recognised Olympic disciplines and the elite minority being groomed for Olympic glory has begun the long struggle to secure a higher profile for their sections of the shooting sports, signing young shooters up to commercial sponsorship and PR deals with fashion brands and the like.

Fullbore, in the meantime, is a comparative unknown outside our little world. Although fullbore TR is a Commonwealth Games discipline, the BBC infamously tried to ignore it altogether until in 2014 a group of enterprising shooters set up the Barry Buddon Broadcasting Corporation, a Facebook page reporting live results.

The only spectator-friendly fullbore discipline that comes to mind is Civilian Service Rifle, in both its historic and modern variants. You have physical activity (the rundowns), individual skill (a given) and, if you used falling plates or other reactive targets, a readily understood goal for each competitor or team.

Perhaps the NRA could build a temporary tiered spectator stand at the rear of Century ready for this year’s Imperial CSR matches?

6 thoughts on “New govt sports strategy doesn’t mention shooting

  1. Rich

    The outrage continues!

    It also doesn’t mention Canoeing, Kayaking, Gymnastics, Diving, Skiing, Snowboarding, Ice sports (like figure skating or skeleton bob – things we win Olympic medals in), and continues the long and unashamed class war on Equestrian with no mention of Dressage, Eventing or Polo (or even Water Polo!)!

    Slow news day? Seriously, you’re quite good at the investigative stuff Gaz. I’m not sure why you’re wasting your time inventing faux outrage over an imagined slight. Go and find some real news…


    1. Gaz Corfield Post author

      Tell you what – if you don’t like reading what I write, how about buggering off instead of whinging like an old woman who had her gin taken away.

      People like you who are too lazy to read beyond the head and intro before chopsing off in the comments really grip my shit. Read the whole article or GTFO.


      1. Rich

        Sorry Gaz. Look, you’re good at this – I follow you because you’re GOOD at investigative stuff. You dig up the Westminster and EU reports and Hansard and all that good stuff.

        The bit I don’t like is that you sensationalise everything. EVERYTHING is an attack on shooting. Even the stuff which DOESN’T MENTION shooting!

        And the problem is, when everything is sensational, where are you going to go with a genuinely serious story? If everything is doom and gloom, then when something serious does actually come up you’ve nowhere to go – because people have become desensitised to the news. It’s why the likes of the Sun are known as “tomorrow’s fishwrapper”.

        You’re a genuinely talented investigative journo who is good at digging stuff up. You’re better than tomorrow’s fishwrapper, but you seem desperate to undermine your own credibility, which is such a shame! Stop crying wolf – if you keep telling me tomorrow is the end of the world, I won’t know when the apocalypse actually IS coming!

        As it is, I’ll continue following you. But I probably won’t read your words, just look straight for the link to the primary source…

        Now. Where’s that lemon? My gin is calling.


      2. Gaz Corfield Post author

        Yes, I’ve seen you posting in various corners of the internet badmouthing me and my blog and posting the source links without acknowledging where you found them, or how you learned what the information in them meant. Which is very rude and the sort of thing people do when they want to appear smarter than they really are.


      3. Rich

        I’m not sure I’ve ever reposted your material. And as for “learning what they meant”, you certainly don’t have a monopoly on critical thinking, or complex skills like “reading”. In fact that’s where I generally take issue with your reporting – I read the source material, establish the origins of the document, see who it was written both by and for, and then draw conclusions. Comparing our conclusions, yours tend to be the most sensational possible telling of facts and events, extrapolated to their most extreme conclusions, which as I mentioned above becomes very wearisome to read. It’s depressing and makes one feel the world is constantly falling in.

        And now you’ve finished for the old ad hominem. Come on Gaz. No need for that.


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