Since last weeks uproar about BBC reporting of children with shotgun certificates – I’ve been looking at ways that children can get involved in shotgun sports in a safe and organised way. Clearly, anyone who has experienced the excitement of a son or daughter accompanying them to a shooting event will know that it’s hard to resist letting them find out about the sport form themselves, so it is good that some organisations are there to support.
Here’s some of the best ideas we’ve found to get children involved in clay shooting:
- BASC Young Shots – a programme of events designed in introduce youngsters to shooting (clays and air rifles), as well as gundog training, deer management, fly casting and fishing. Well organised and supported and held throughout the country.
- Broomhills Kids Club – Our friends over at Broomhills have set up a series of events for the school holidays that will introduce youngsters to Clay Shooting, Crossbow and Air Rifle shooting. In groups of six over a couple of hours the whole group will get to try each of the sports in a safe and well supported environment.
- FrockStockandBarrel – based at two locations (Essex and Kent) – this shooting school runs Childrens Parties by a CPSA trained coach (also CRB checked) which can teach children about safety, gun handling, and some basic coaching – a fun way for any youngster to learn about shooting with their friends. What a birthday party!
- Purdey Young Shots – A little more pricey, but held at the marvellous West London Shooting School, this a day long shooting school held during the school holidays introducing youngsters to all forms of shooting (Clay, Rifle and Air-Rifle) – and focuses on safety and etiquette.
- Holland and Holland Young Shots – Again, in the Summer Holidays – a chance for youngsters to learn about gun handling, safety and clay shooting.
And of course – there is a tried and tested route of a parent introducing their child to the sport themselves. Ask your friendly shooting ground if they have a 410 or 28g that you can borrow (your 12g may be a bit heavy and the recoil might put a youngster off) – some safety equipment (glasses, hat, ear protection) and you can introduce them to the sport in a safe and calm manner – remember the basic safety rules and teach your child to have respect for the gun and other shooters.
You might want to think about some low recoil cartridges and some easy targets to get them started – but in no time, they’ll be ready to tackle some more interesting shooting. I see plenty of youngsters on shoots in my area who are enjoying this rewarding sport with their parents.
You’ll soon have them challenging you for top gun!