Helen was one of our lucky members to be awarded the £250 bursary this year to attend Bisley. This is her first time at a major event. The letter below thanks the WSRA for their support and describes how her weekend went.
Dear WSRA Committee,
I would like to thank the committee for awarding me the Bursary to attend Bisley last weekend.
I won't deny the fact that I was nervous and did not know what to expect. I am grateful for my son driving me and carrying the bulky items of my kit and Mick being there to give me guidance, from collecting my envelope with badge etc in it and being there when I was shooting to giving me his advice and support, all of which made the whole experience fabulous.
I booked into the Pavilion as I was clueless as to what accommodation was available and I am glad I did as it is central to all that was going on.
This was only my second experience of shooting at 100 yards (first being the Chippenham Dewar a few weeks ago) and my, maybe, fifth time at 50 meters.
The wind was very strong, and on the Friday the sand on the Century range was more like a desert sandstorm than sand bank.
Saturday the wind was just as strong, I chose to shoot at 1.45, as strong as the wind was it was not raining.
After a rather stressful start (I had collected the wrong size backers and then realised I had not picked up enough targets). A lady called Jude (don't know which club she is with but was in the Welsh tent (I had met and spoken to her at the WSRA Indoor shoot at Penarth earlier in the year)) gave me a hug and words of encouragement, which went a long way to easing my nerves. The competitors were faced with ripped targets, mats being tipped up and rifles being blown over. I was fortunate that Mick loaned me his bulldog clips and I borrowed extra from the stats tent, I used probably 30+ in all. Putting the targets up and changing them in the wind was an experience with my first backing sheet being ripped, other competitors had their targets ripped before and after shooting. I did make a few errors, and know that I lost substantial points on 4 shots, which if they had gone as with all of my other shots I may have had a better result, but it is a live show and nevertheless I am pleased with how I did, and the errors I made, I am more mindful of what caused them and will take this forward to future shoots. Also, the wind was so strong at times the rifle was wobbling! My scores 168, 151, 152 total 471 - 28th out of 40
Saturday night both Lewis and I joined the Tondu club members and had a very enjoyable meal and chat with them.
Sunday was the 50 meters, I was feeling much more relaxed after Saturday's experience and knowing what I had to do, I shot at 12 o'clock, the wind had lessened somewhat, but the last card shot saw the rain come in! Again, I made errors, and have learned from them. My scores 161, 178, 185 total 524 - 22nd out of 40. I was also grateful to Mick who after finishing his 3P competition joined Lewis to support me.
The Range Officer allocated to my area was very funny and chatty and made being nervous between change of targets impossible! One of the ladies in the stats tents was very helpful when I got my labels mixed up, though she did say that many people were confused with the way the labels were set up. All in all, both Lewis and I met some very nice and interesting people.
My one 50m target card was misplaced, and I am grateful to Mick who checked the boards and text me the results after it was found. My competition results are as follows (again big thanks to Mick as I was rather clueless on how the competition was made up!)
Comp 8, first 50m cards 161, 178 total 339 (28th)
Comp 9, last 50 & 100 cards 185, 168 total 353 (11th)
Comp 10, first 2 100 cards 151, 152 total 303 (33rd)
Comp 10a, 3 x 50 161, 178, 185 total 524 (22nd)
Comp 10b, 3 x 100 168, 151, 152 total 471 (28th)
Comp 11 Aggregate of all 6 cards 995 (28th)
In all, it was the best (non-family) experience I have had and finding Torfaen Smallbore Rifle Club has opened up a whole new world I did not know existed when I walked through their doors a total clueless 'newbie' in May 2018.
The weekend has made me realise how much I love this world and the challenges and am so excited to learn more and move forward with my ability as there is so much more I want to learn and hopefully do much better at Bisley next year!
Bisley is a beautiful place, and it was rather unique having a siren for an 8.30 am alarm! Absolutely amazing!
On a side note, I would like to extend my thanks to Barry Jones, who helped me get my kit together in time.