In my capacity as both STS Shotgun AMG Chair and a Para Trap athlete, I attended the Malaga Grand Prix, a well-attended annual all-inclusive Grand Prix with an attendance this year of 238 competitors from around the world. It was also the first time it was fully inclusive with disabled shooters from STS in both classifications, shooting alongside able bodied shooters as equals.
Congratulations to all STS members who attended and to Marco Micheli for his excellent development with the team, his skills and support is what pushes our athletes to heights they are well deserved of, with two members this year excelling at the event.
Sharon Niven recalls her Malaga experience: "There was a friendly atmosphere while shooting at this ground which makes training and competing more relaxing. This year I attended with a brand-new Sponsor Beretta so needless to say I was not expecting anything outstanding. However, I finished 1st Lady in Qualification rounds with a New Scottish and British Record of 116/125. This has given me a real boost in confidence and a new fire in my belly that I will take to all my training from now through to the Commonwealth Games in a few months time. "
Allan Ritchie is quickly proving himself as the top disabled sitting shooter sitting with a Scottish title of High Gun & record score of 108/125, also a personal best. This is the first time Allan has been to Malaga or flown since his disability - he is definitely improving rapidly and is one to watch out for.
In Allan's own words, "There was a great atmosphere throughout the competition with lots of interaction between competitor’s of different nationalities. Old friends were warmly greeted, and new friends were made. The event afforded me the opportunity to train alongside the STS performance team and under the scrutiny of Marco. This was an extremely positive experience for me made all the better by the warm welcome and good banter enjoyed throughout the duration of the training and competition. I enjoyed a successful competition with a new Personal Best of 108/125, which secured 1st place in Para Trap Class 1 (Sitting) alongside being the Para Trap High Gun. This, I have been informed by Keith Shields, has set the Scottish Para Trap Record at 108/125 This has given me a great start to the season giving me confidence to move forward to the WSP World Cup in Al Ain, UAE in March."
I would like to conclude this with a warm thank you and great respect to those who attended the Malaga Grand Prix that have not been mentioned but are worthy of being mentioned. There was great support and team bonding at the cup, not just for our performance team but those from our friends at SCTA that entered and made the experience as good as it was, I hope to see them on the STS membership soon.
I cannot close with out ensuring that STS and myself also congratulate our coach Marco on attaining his A Class Coaching license in December 2017, congratulations Marco!
Report by Keith Shields, Shotgun AMG Chair