Laporting For Duty

Clay Pigeon Trap Makers Laporte are continuing their Clay Shooting roadshow, this time making a winning appearance at the Royal Signals Championships at Blandford Army Camp in Dorset.

The Royal Signal motto, Certa Cito, translates as ‘Swift and Sure’, undoubtedly ideal traits for a clay shooter – and unsurprisingly this is an army-recognised sport. With the expectation that there is a requirement to shoot in the military, it is supported along with a number of other sports in the armed forces and is funded accordingly. while there is not an endless pot of gold, the team are fortunate to receive funding through the army Support and Control Board.

it’s generally accepted that the sport is an expensive one, and the Royal Signals aim to introduce it to people who otherwise might not have that opportunity. They are currently looking for young soldiers to come on board and experience clay shooting, both within the services and in their everyday lives.

Shooting naturally has a cross-over with a soldier’s day job, and the extra income and support means they have more opportunity than ever to be the best. The Cat. are inclusive of all ranks, genders and abilities. The good news for servicemen interested in shooting clays is that there is a well structured pathway from novice to expert shot.

Thanks to carefully targeted funding, including the support of laporte, there are now numerous instructors and coaches equipped to deliver national Clay Target Shooting qualifications to shooters of all abilities. as a result the army team is packed with Royal Signal shooters. and through the sport, soldiers become familiar – and later competent – with a new shooting system.

The last time GTN spoke with Laporte’s head of sales Duncan Wallace, the Clay Pigeon Company were entering the early stages of support for the militaries clay team. he has since claimed guest high gun at the Royal Signal Corps Championships, as presented by the aptly named Corp Colonel, Jason gunning.

“Its not bad when i turn up and win something,” said Duncan. “I’m quite proud of that; the Royal Signals Champs guest high gun,” he said, pointing to his trophy.

“The first day i got here, they asked if i was shooting. i wasn’t planning to, but i got thrust into it. i didn’t do too well yesterday but got up this morning thinking, ‘Right, if i’m going to do this, i’m going to go for it! Keep the focus.”

“I think there was something in the haribo that helped. i just grabbed a small packet of Tangfastics before i went out and did well,” he added.

With Corp Championships providing young shooters with the chance to graduate into the army team for the upcoming army Champs at EJ Churchill in October, there is plenty to motivate novices and spot new talent. Duncan explained: “The army team predominantly shoots Sporting; with the help of Laporte, and their experience of working with english Sporting youngsters, they can guide Olympic hopefuls onto the GB pathway.

“The army Championship is where future stars are spotted. at this year’s event, eJ Churchill will open it to the civilian public for the first time. it’s expected to draw in 350 shooters – more than double the 2017 attendance. it will be a registered shoot for civilians, rather than the traditional exclusive army event.”

The event at Blandford Camp has taken almost a year to organise; it is the biggest event of its kind. “As a company we are trying to be recognised for helping people. we have helped a lot of grounds for training, with military discounts, traps, clothing and brand new material,” says Duncan.

Organisers rewarded the most successful shooters in Classes a, B, C and novice categories with Module Three advanced Shotgun courses, aiming to hook talented shooters and further develop promising skills. in addition to the Taylor wells Memorial trophy marking the most improved youngster, the teams are also encouraged to compete in the inter-Cat competition.

The Royal Signals have won this title in last two years – and three out of the last four – so they are now looking to make it a record-breaking three in a row. “duncan may even be able to shoot for the Signals now,” suggests Major will Taylor, one of the event’s organisers.

“It gives everybody a bit of a feel for the new shooters coming through,” adds Duncan. “I know when i started shooting, you’d see branding and think it gives the event a bit of pizzazz. The Championships have a nice feel to them because they know that we are investing in them – which we will continue to try and do.

“Its all been chugging along nicely, trap sales are good and we’ve been around and about visiting grounds. a lot of events have now started, so all of the shooting grounds are getting the clays in for their competitions.

“Speaking with the Corps over the years, and building relationships, we’ve manged to secure the deals that we can offer them. we also did the Laporte challenge in between shoots to keep everybody ticking over between doing all the scores. everybody enjoyed that.

“What Laporte try to do is sponsor the young and keep driving forwards. if there are no youngsters coming in, and the drive to want to do it, then the sport could very much die.

“It gives them something to aim for as well. They want to come back and do well. everyone has the gist of what we are doing and how we are supporting. we sponsor anybody, but these guys have made the effort to talk to us more so we keep that up and its god to have the relationship. The more they see us, others can see what we have done,” he concludes.

Shooting will continue both at unit grounds and premier civilian clay grounds, thanks to the support of Laporte and Royal Signals games Clubs. during the active calendar of events, this funding typifies the Corps’ ethos of investing in success. as the benefits are felt at the highest level, there is an ongoing campaign to further endorse Clay Target Shooting and ensure swift and sure progress for the Royal Signals Corps.

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