Clay shooting is one of the most inclusive of sports, enjoyed by men and women of all ages, and disabled shooters are very welcome. So long as you are safe and physically capable of holding a gun, you can enjoy the sport and take it as far as you want to go, all the way up to competing in national and international competitions.
There are disabled categories in the English and British national championships run by the CPSA, and the CPSA-affiliated Disabled Shooters Group has enabled members to take part in overseas competitions, including Grand Prix matches. These are currently run independently and it's hoped will soon be run alongside the ISSF World Cup matches.
Para Clay Target Shooting is now a recognised sport, which it's hoped will become part of the Paralympics from 2024- the International Paralympic Committee is currently working with the ISSF and other organisations towards that goal.
What is disabled clay shooting?
Essentially disabled clay shooting involves shooting the same targets, with the same guns and ammunition, as able-bodied shooters. You can shoot any of the clay disciplines, from the 'home' disciplines such as English Sporting or Down-The-Line, through to international and Olympic disciplines like Olympic Trap and Double-Trap.
The new Paralympic sport of Para Clay Target Shooting is based on Olympic Trap - for more information about Para Clay Target Shooting, click here.
In all these disciplines there are disabled categories for Sitting and Standing. Shooting from a wheelchair is undoubtedly tougher than shooting standing, but Britain has some top shots in wheelchairs in all disciplines. In the standing category there are shooters with prosthetic legs, and some who shoot one-armed. Shooters are very much encouraged in all categories regardless of age, sex or type of disability.
Whatever your disability you will find other shooters are welcoming and keen to help, and more experienced disabled shooters will be able to offer valuable advice on how you can adjust and improve your skills.
First of all, though, you'll want to know how to get started - how to give clay shooting a go, and see if it's something you might like to pursue.
Your first point of contact is the thriving Disabled Shooters Group, which works closely with the CPSA and arranges lessons, coaching and have-a-go days for disabled shooters. Look out for them at events with their DryFire shooting simulator, which will enable you to have a go in a safe environment, and see if you can handle and move a gun safely.
The DSG provides a wealth of support and advice, as well as a point of contact with other disabled shooters. Between March and November it meets at different shooting grounds around the UK for a full day's competition. As well as the shooting itself, these events also provide a welcome opportunity to meet and socialise. You'll find plenty of information and contact details on the DSG website. There is also a DSG Facebook group.
If you prefer, you can find a suitable local shooting ground and make your own arrangements. Many shooting grounds have access and facilities for people with disabilities, and the situation is improving all the time. Use our club finder to find shooting grounds near you, and contact them direct to find out more.
Whichever route you take, you can be sure that you'll be welcomed into the shooting community, and receive every support and encouragement to develop your skills.