Over the weekend Alloa and District Rifle Club welcomed a Paralympic and World Championship medallist and her friend to the club. Aileen Neilson was the first woman to skip a wheelchair curling team in either the Paralympics or World Championships, leading the Team GB Paralympic Curling team at the 2010, 2014 and 2018 Paralympics, winning a Bronze medal in Sochi in 2014. At the World Championships, where she competed for Scotland, she has won Silver in 2011, Bronze in 2017 and then Silver again in 2019.
However, over the weekend, Aileen gave up the ice rink for the shooting range and had her first go at air pistol shooting along with her friend, and ex-skip of the GB Team, Michael. both thoroughly enjoyed the experience proving that shooting really is a sport that anyone can enjoy. When asked about her experience, Aileen said: “Michael and I went along and were made most welcome and really enjoyed the introductory session…I didn’t get a ‘ten’ so I’ll need to rectify that!!!”
Willie and the club at Alloa have been working hard with STS to develop both the facilities and coaches in the club. Willie delivers the STS sessions at the Spinal Injury Unit at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital that take place every 4-6 weeks while the club played host to the pilot Disability Inclusion Training course, delivered in partnership with Scottish Disability Sport, to give coaches the confidence and awareness to work with athletes with disabilities.
Aileen and Michael were also supported on the night by Bronwen Livingstone, someone who had never tried shooting before until attending one of the sessions run by Willie at the spinal injury unit and now she trains regularly at the club and has been spotted by British Shooting.
Well done to Aileen and Michael, we hope to see you back at the club. Congratulations to Alloa and District Rifle Club, in particular Willie McAulay - keep up the good work!