Andy McGarty looks ahead to the new season of Target Sprint, with plenty of opportunities to take part – and plenty of trophies to be won.
Last year Target Sprint saw more competitors taking part and faster times being recorded than ever before, culminating in a three-day festival at the Yate Outdoor Sports Complex (YOSC) in Bristol. Target Sprint involves running 400 metres, stopping to shoot five knockdown targets, running another 400m, shooting five more targets and then making a final 400m sprint home.
The knockdowns are either 35mm or 49.5mm in diameter, depending on the type of competition. This year looks to be even bigger and better, with the integration of the Super League to the National Series events programme as well as a new Cup. The weekend of 21-22 September will see the National Series Final and British Championships returning to the YOSC.
The National Series is contested using the larger 49.5mm knockdown targets and allows newcomers of all ages to compete. Athletes who have qualified from the eight regional competitions, including the Schools Championships held at Bisley in Surrey, will then take part in the final in September.
SCHOOL TARGET SPRINT
This will be held on Tuesday 16 July at Bisley as part of the 150th Imperial Meeting. It’s open to all schools, not just those who are already attending the National Schools Meeting. Gorgs Geikie, British Shooting’s events and commercial coordinator, said; “British Shooting, CCRS and the NRA are thrilled to be working in partnership to deliver the School Target Sprint.
“This is an open event to all schools and including those schools attending the National Schools Meeting. This is a great opportunity for us to engage with schools, enabling students and teachers with a range of Target Sprint experience to participate in the sport and also gain first-hand experience of how Target Sprint might benefit and help them continue and broaden shooting sports in the future.”
The Target Sprint Super League will be shot alongside the National Series on 35mm targets, and gives more experienced athletes the opportunity to compete in multiple domestic ISSF-standard events across the country and accumulate points across the season.
The athletes with the most points at the end of the season will be crowned Super League Champion.
The British Championships is a one-day competition shot on the smaller 35mm knockdown targets and will see the best in Britain compete alongside one another to be crowned British Champion. This will also be the pinnacle of the Super League, where athletes can attain double Super League points to add to their points accumulation for 2019.
AIR ARMS CUP
New to 2019 sees Sedgemoor Training, one of the many Regional Centres, organising the Air Arms Cup on 24-25 August. This competition is open to all, including overseas competitors.
There will be races for individuals and teams across the various age groups. Shooters from novice to experienced levels are welcome to enter. Athletes don’t need to have their own equipment, thanks to the continued sponsorship of Air Arms, which provides many rifles at each event.
If you want to try the specialist rifles used in Target Sprint, you can visit the Air Arms Experience at the Northern Shooting Show (11-12 May) or the Midland Game Fair (14-15 September). They won’t ask you to run the 1.2km first, though!
Finally, there is a sponsored Rifle Run on Sunday 14 April in aid of ABF The Soldiers’ Charity being held at EJ Churchills in High Wycombe.
See www.soldierscharity.org/events/rifle-run for more.
Full details of all events in 2019 can be found at www.targetsprint.com/events.
SAVE THE DATE
North West Championships
Sunday 5 May at East Cheshire
Harriers, hosted by North West Regional Centre
South West Championships
Saturday 11 May at Exeter School
Scout & Open Championships
Saturday 11 May in Southampton, hosted by 21st Romsey Hub
Scout & Open Championships
Sunday 12 May in Southampton, hosted by 21st Romsey Hub
Saturday 25 May, hosted by Target Sprint Burntwood
South East Championships
Sunday 7 July at Dorking
Athletics Club, hosted by Target Shooting School
Tuesday 16 July at Bisley
Air Arms Cup
Weekend of 24-25 August at Yate
Outdoor Sports Complex, hosted by Sedgemoor Training
Sunday 25 August at Llandovery
College, hosted by Target Sprint Cymru Regional Centre
Saturday 21 September at YOSC
National Series Final
Sunday 22 September at YOSC