The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Shooting World Cup is to be held at Stoke Mandeville Stadium, Buckinghamshire this year from 1 to 3 October.
It is the first time the event has been held in Great Britain and the birthplace of the Paralympic Games provides a fitting venue for this exciting event.
It is hoped by holding this event in Britain it will give athletes the valuable opportunity to compete on home soil, in front of a home crowd, and help broaden the knowledge of disability target shooting amongst the nation.
The organizations involved in the event aim to create awareness of sport for persons with a disability and promote real talent and opportunities for people with a disability. This in turn they hope will persuade people to try out disability shooting for themselves as well as other sports that they would have perhaps not have experienced before.
Esther Appleyard from Accentuate, one of the sponsors of the IPC Shooting World Cup, said: “Accentuate is delighted to sponsor the Shooting World cup as part of our project Major Events. Accentuate is a transformational programme of 15 projects, inspired by the Paralympic Movement, which seeks to change perceptions and offer opportunities to showcase the talents of deaf and people with a disability.”
Accentuate is funded by Legacy Trust UK which is creating a cultural and sporting legacy from the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, SEEDA and the regional cultural agencies. Screen South is the home of Accentuate.
Lucy Crickmore, Events Consultant at UK Sport, said: “UK Sport is committed to bringing world class sporting events to the UK ahead of 2012, in what we believe will be the most comprehensive pre-Games events programme ever staged by an Olympic host nation. We are delighted that the IPC Shooting World Cup 2010 will be part of this programme.”
Lindsey Horton, from Tourism South East said: “We are very proud to be involved in this event. It sits very well with our aim to become Britain’s most accessible region in preparation for London 2012 including the improvement of facilities, levels of service and welcome for the disabled and their families and friends”.
Around 75 shooters from 15 nations around the globe including Poland, Thailand, USA and host nation Great Britain are set to take part in the competition.
The recent Shooting World Championships in Croatia showed the British team to be on great form, winning two silver and two bronze medals. Great Britain are now one of the most highly respected nations in Paralympic Shooting which gives the team great confidence for the World Cup.
Pasan Kularatne, the head coach and performance manager for the GB Team said: “I am feeling confident about the World Cup and I am looking forward to it. The athletes are all training hard and I think it will be a very exciting competition.”
The athletes representing Great Britain in this event include Nathan Milgate who made the final in his first ever Paralympic Games in Beijing, Di Coates, winner of an incredible eight Paralympic medals over a career spanning seven Paralympic Games and Beijing Paralympic Gold medalist Matt Skelhon, who won three medals at the recent World Championships. Matt said: “I am very exciting about the World Cup. It’s a great opportunity to play against people in my own country and I have been shooting well in my training sessions so am feeling confident.”
There are two main categories for Shooting, SH1 which is disability not affecting the upper limbs, and SH2 where there is some upper limb impairment. SH2 shooters place their rifles on a spring loaded stand when shooting. The event will feature 10 metre target shooting in both rifle and pistol disciplines. The aim is to shoot as close to the centre of the target as possible, from the outside edge of the circle awarding the shooter one point to the middle scoring ten points. The athletes make it look incredibly easy, but the accuracy required to achieve a high score is extremely difficult to achieve with one slight wobble causing you to go off target.
The event also aims to get local people involved with a community programme including school taster sessions during the event and a volunteer scheme.