The British Army Shooting Team – Clay Target is the pinnacle of Clay Target Shooting in the Army, the largest participation shooting sport across the Armed Services. The team comprises several entities: the English Sporting Senior Squad, Army Development Squad (English Sporting), Olympic Development Squad (ODS) & Female Development Squad (FDS). The Senior and Olympic Development squads both elements compete at the highest of levels in national, international and inter-services events. Drawn from both the Regular and Reserve force, comprising all ranks and a mix of different cap badges, expert coaching, dedicated training and exposure to top-class competitive shooting is all on offer.
Not just the preserve of the more seasoned shooters, intermediates and novices are actively encouraged into the sport, with the provision of excellent facilities, qualified and experienced instructors and subsidised shooting available for all. The Army Target Shooting Club – Clay Target (ATSC-CT) together with Corps Clay Target representatives provide the first step on the clay shooting journey. All equipment can be provided to enable a safe introduction to the sport.
By far the most popular discipline of clay shooting in the UK, the English Sporting Squad compete and represent the Army and UK Armed Forces at events across the country and internationally, focusing on the Armed Services and Emergency Services league. An ideal entry point into clay shooting, grass roots shooters are very well catered for through several Army run clay shooting grounds. Novice and intermediate Clay Pigeon Shooting Association (CPSA) courses are delivered at subsidised rates allowing a beginner to be safely introduced to the sport and progress. The DIN is available to view through ModNet. All information can be accessed through the British Army Clay Target Shooting page on Defence Connect.
Widening and increasing participation across the Army is key. In 2022, the Female Development Squad was formed, in recognition that women were an under represented group in the sport. Selected from the successful Talent Identification Events, the FDS meet regularly to receive professional coaching and are exposed to Service and civilian competitions, and are integral to the wider Army Team.
Olympic Development Squad
The Olympic Development Squad are drawn from established clay target shooters and receive world class coaching from some of the sport’s best. The goal is to introduce the shooter to the Olympic disciplines (Olympic Skeet and Olympic Trap), progress in ability and achieve national selection for participation in the Olympic Games. Ability is not the sole factor; being able to receive and adapt to coaching in order to improve is the key ingredient, coupled with the drive, determination and desire to achieve the very highest level of competitive clay shooting. Experience is not essential; working with British Shooting, talent identification events are held throughout the year and open to all, to spot those who have the ability to improve and develop with coaching. National and international competitions are all on the menu for the ODS in 2023/2024, together with excellent holistic support from the Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS). With several National selections, Team personnel have consistently represented their respective Countries in the sport.