A chilly Saturday at the beginning of December saw the trial of the Scottish Target Shooting Disability Inclusion Training (DIT) Course, a course to help target shooting clubs be more confident and when working with disabled shooters and members of the public. It also provides an opportunity for participants to share their own experiences of what they have done/are doing to share good practice.
This pilot course was prepared and run in partnership with Scottish Disability Sport (SDS) and was prepared with a view to making the final course relevant to all disciplines. Held at Alloa & District Rifle Club, twelve people from different disciplines of the sport arrived from all over Scotland to learn more about disability in sport and how to relate this to target shooting.
With tea, coffee, biscuits and homemade cake (thank you Kirsty!) and an excellent sandwich lunch from the local community centre café, there were interesting questions and lively discussions, but everyone agreed that the 'best bit' of the workshop were the practical sessions.
In the practical sessions, participants were able to take wheelchairs for a test drive, discovering for themselves the different look and feel of the world from this perspective. This provided a small insight into the challenges faced in normal day to day activities, like simply moving from one room to the next, giving participants the ability to reflect on the facilities within their own club and how everyday activities they had previously perceived to be simple may in fact be challenging but could be easily simplified with small, simple and often inexpensive adjustments.
The next "hands-on" practical gave an appreciation of having a visual impairment. Using specially designed spectacles which simulate various sight issues from mild to full sight loss, our intrepid participants buddied up to walk round the car park with the buddy giving verbal directions and descriptions of obstacles. This was a steep learning curve for both the "visually impaired" and the buddy!
Everyone involved in the sport knows how inclusive it is but the development of a target shooting DIT course, developed in partnership with SDS, will help to promote this more widely and at the same time provide support to STS member clubs and coaches with their work in engaging with everyone in their local communities.
Feedback on the pilot has been very positive but it means we have a few tweaks and changes to be made in view of the comments and suggestions made consideration and inclusion. The course will constantly evolve and improve as it is delivered but once the changes from the pilot have been finalised, STS and SDS will be looking to roll out courses across Scotland in 2019 so we shall keep our members posted on dates and locations when the course is ready for release.
Report by Frances Lochtie