Emma Stacey - It’s World Championships season!
This summer is proving to be the definition of a summer of shooting for me. Having hardly shot during the last 10 months due to my final year of uni, I am attending three world championships this summer, as well as the normal domestic competitions.
The first one was the ICTSF World Sporting in Ireland, which can only be described as a phenomenal event. The hospitality and effort that was put into the village was fantastic, and it was great to see a different nation host such a fantastic event. For me, it was great to be back in the team with Georgia and Hannah - we have just entered our third season as teammates and have yet to be defeated. This World Championships was all about defending our title from 2017, something I am very proud to say we achieved! The weekend started strong with our team scores comprising 87, 89 and 91 on the gold course. This gave us a bit of a buffer going into day two and allowed us some breathing room to tackle the trickier green course. As earlier reports had suggested, this proved the more technical of the two courses but our team continued with some really solid shooting, led by a phenomenal 85 by Georgia - a score that was envied by some AAA shooters. Although, the driven stand on the green course somewhat got the better of all of us!
The results came in to show that we successfully defended our title from 2017, and finished 1-3-4 in Ladies. The consistency these ladies show over multiple seasons is phenomenal, and time and time again it amazes me that we can all finish so close to one another. But massive congratulations must go to Georgia for becoming the ICTSF World Sporting Ladies Champion 2019! It was so great to see one of my best friends achieve her potential and win an individual senior world title - here’s to many more in the future. Congratulations as well to Wales and Scotland, who finished 2nd and 3rd in the team event.
Luckily, the competition ran a day earlier than usual which gave me an extra day to unpack and then re-pack for the World FITASC Championships at Churchill’s. Before that though, I had my university graduation, and I am very pleased to say I have graduated from the University of Bath with an Honours degree in Politics and International Relations. It is worth mentioning that Bath has been exceptionally supportive of my shooting, offering me a sports scholarship and further support as part of the Dual Career Programme. Any shooters considering university should definitely look into this option. I have loved every second of my time at Bath, and I will be very sad to leave it behind. Nevertheless, new challenges await!
On that note, the World FITASC proved to be one of those challenges! Those that have seen me shoot will know I like to shoot sporting with the gun in my shoulder mostly - much to my dads despair. He taught me to shoot with the gun out of the shoulder, but over time and shooting a lot of sporting and not much fitasc on my own, I’ve got out of the habit of doing so. The shoot at Churchills highlighted this, and caught me out a few times due to the sheer number of overhead and going away/quartering targets. Something to practice for sure, although I was much improved come the end of the week, with a 23 on my final layout which I was happy with. It only took me 8 layouts, but I finally equalled Dad on a layout! Speaking of Dad, he had a very solid competition capped by a great 48/50 on the first day. It always amazes me how someone who shoots so little can be so consistently good! Much has been said about the quality of the targets, but I don’t feel that’s for me to comment on. All I will say is that Rob Fenwick and his team at Churchills should be applauded for the phenomenal effort from their side, and the amazing village and hospitality they put on. In my opinion they are really setting the standard for Championships in the UK, and I look forward to shooting the World Sporting there again next year. It was also a great opportunity to catch up with some of my sponsors, everyone at both Krieghoff and Hull, and to meet and shoot with Nick Berry from Laporte America. It’s rare to get everyone in the same place at the same time, so it was very enjoyable to catch up with them all. I was also lucky to have a really great squad to shoot with, which made it a really fun week. From my squad, congratulations to James Bradley-Day on his Junior medal and Meagan Harrington on her Top 5 Ladies finish. Finally, congratulations must also go to Sam Green on winning his first World Championship.
On the topic of the World Sporting, that represents my next Championship in two weeks time in Chicago. I am ecstatic to be flying out as part of the England team, especially since it was this event in 2017 where I earned my first cap. Shooting in America is such an amazing experience and I can’t wait to do it all over again with the best teammates in the world. Before that though, I’m off on holiday for two weeks to have a break away from the clays!
Thanks as always to my sponsors whose support means that I am able to go to these events and contribute as part of the England team. To Krieghoff, Hull Cartridge, Vario, Laporte CPC, Team Bath, Santander and West Country Guns, thank you all so much.