Scottish Target Shooting is delighted to confirm that it’s Sport Vice Chair, Ian (Charles) Thomson has received official state recognition in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List, awarded an MBE for his contribution to the sport of target shooting.
Ian Thomson has been fundamental to the development of smallbore rifle shooting in Scotland and, through STS, the wider recognition of shooting in Scotland.
Ian’s shooting career started at school in the Cadet Force in the early 1960’s, involving both smallbore and fullbore rifle shooting. He focussed on smallbore after he left school. When the school CCF disbanded, he formed the Junior Club at George Watson’s College and it developed into one of the strongest Junior clubs in the country and continues to be so, oversubscribed with interest. Ian also set up the former pupils club which continues to benefit from returning pupils, keeping them engaged in the sport.
Ian has taken on many coaching roles throughout his life in shooting and he continues to coach to this very day. His fundamental focus is on introducing young people to the sport and helping them develop during the early stages of their shooting career. He currently volunteers his time as the lead coach for the STS Scottish Junior Rifle Squad and Scottish Schools’ Team but his passion and support for junior rifle shooting does not end there. In addition to coaching young people, Ian has been a great help to STS in delivering training courses to get more people coaching in the sport. Many of the courses run by STS are run by Ian with no desire for financial reward. He is particularly supportive of our work with the clubs in Scottish Universities and holds a course at the start of each new academic year, delivering training courses to university students to make sure the young people running University clubs are well trained and supported.
The coaching services provided by Ian are hugely important but only partially touch upon the pivotal role he has played in supporting shooting in Scotland. For over 20 years, Ian was the Chair of the Scottish Smallbore Rifle Association (or SSRA), the voluntary body overseeing smallbore rifle shooting in Scotland. Ian did a fantastic job in keeping the organisation running with only a team of volunteers, helping to provide events and opportunities for people in Scotland. It was through his role with the SSRA that Ian became involved with the Scottish Target Shooting Federation, where he sat on the committee as the SSRA representative for a number of years. Latterly, with the amalgamation of the different voluntary bodies in Scotland to form STS, Ian now serves as the Sports Vice Chair in which capacity his enormous experience, calm authority and leadership qualities have been of immense value to the Chair, Board and sport of target shooting more generally.
In these roles for STSF and STS, Ian has shown the same dedication as he has continued to show throughout his coaching career, giving up much of his personal time on a purely voluntary basis to support the wider cause of helping to develop and support shooting in Scotland. Of note, Ian has been involved for many years in the project to establish a National Shooting Centre to Scotland and more recently represents STS on the Firearms Practitioners Group meeting that brings together the main firearms bodies in the country with Police Scotland and the Scottish Government to make sure the shooting community is joined up in its approach to matters relating to firearms.
Ian is widely respected and liked throughout the shooting community in Scotland and STS can think of no one more deserving of state recognition. Recognition of this nature is hugely welcomed by all in the sport of shooting in Scotland who know Ian, and it is appropriate recognition for his immense contribution to the sport over five decades. Congratulations Ian.