It is with pleasure, and not a little trepidation that we welcome you to British Target Shooting, your brand-spanking-new news repository for Target Shooting in Britain.
Target Shooting is an interesting sport. Browse the shelves of WHSmith, and you will find a litany of airgun magazines from Airgunner to Airgun World, a handful of hunting-orientated publications such as Sporting Shooter, but next to nothing for the target shooter. Target Shooter Magazine sadly succumbed to the recession early in 2009, although a digital publication struggled on from the ashes. Similarly, the newer .22 Shooter magazine was born into the market in early 2012, evidently with an eye on the recovering economy and with a Content Strategy that included a broader market than strict target shooting. Alas, they fell to market forces a little over a year later.
So what makes British Target Shooting different? Well, on the face of it, perhaps little. We are entirely online, as is Target Shooter. But from there we take a very different Content Strategy by presenting as a news outlet rather than a magazine. Rather than monthly or quarterly issues, with big-hitting feature articles and a page or two of results, our focus is on events, results, rule changes, news from the governing associations and competitions, updated as regularly as is required. We will draw on specialists and guest columnists of course, but the emphasis is more newspaper than magazine.
We also make no pretence at professionalism – using that word in the sense of making a living from this venture. British Target Shooting exists as a voluntary and community endeavour because we as a sport have historically been dreadful at publicising and presenting ourselves for what we are – an Olympic and Commonwealth Sport, dating to the very earliest incarnations of those Games and before. We have no reason to hide in the shadows, but too often our achievements are ridden roughshod over by those with differing opinions on our pastime. Those who would confuse the illegal use of firearms with our sport, in a manner that is not considered appropriate between say, joy-riding and legitimate motorsport.
This publication is run voluntarily, in the freely given time of it’s contributors. Perhaps at some stage we will garner some sponsorship to cover the modest hosting costs, but profit is not the point, nor are the hosting costs sufficient that the future of the site is in financial doubt. However, time and geography do pose their own challenge, and this is where we also call for assistance. As a self-funded venture, the core team cannot possibly travel to the Imperial, NSRA Smallbore Week, the NSRA Scottish Meeting and The NRA Phoenix Meeting, not to mention multi-sport Games like the Commonwealths and Olympics, or GB Selection Events such as the British 50m Meeting and the British Airgun Open Meeting (although between us we do hit a fair few!). Nor can we be personally aware of every county or local meeting that takes place across the country.
So we call on you – the readers – to tip us off about competitions so that we can give them a nod, and perhaps a few more entries. We call on you to send us results, or maybe even write up and submit match reports for publication, or provide photos to accompany our articles where we cannot make it to an event. Full journalistic and/or photo credit will be given of course.
Good shooting to you.