Stoke Mandeville Stadium to host IPC Shooting Approved International Competition

Stoke Mandeville Stadium, the birthplace of the Paralympics Games, will be hosting an IPC Shooting Approved International Competition this August.

This is the 2nd time the event has been held in Britain and will run from the 29th to the 31st August, which will not only give the shooters the valuable opportunity to compete on home soil and in front of a home crowd but also help broaden the knowledge of disability target shooting across the nation. The organisations involved in this event aim to create awareness of disability sport and promote real talent and opportunities for disabled people.

Martin McElhatton, Chief Executive for WheelPower the national charity and disability sports organisation for wheelchair sport added, “This will be a fantastic event. WheelPower is keen to see different sports showcased at Stoke Mandeville Stadium so that young and newly disabled people can enjoy a wide variety of sports. We hope that this event encourages disabled people to try shooting for themselves so that the sport can grow even further in the future.”

Ian Seabrook, Stoke Mandeville Stadium’s Business Development Manager commented, “We are thrilled to be involved in such a fantastic sporting event. We hope this event helps increase awareness of disability sport and encourages more people to come down to the Stadium and try out the great range of sports we have to offer.”

There are 77 shooters taking part in the World Cup from 15 different countries Shooters will be travelling from as far as New Zealand and Australia whilst there is a strong European contingent including Germany, Sweden, Serbia and the hosts Great Britain.

Pasan Kularatne, head coach and performance manager for the GB Team said “I am pleased that we are able to host this event for the second consecutive year and I am looking forward to it. The athletes of the GB Team are in good form and this will be a very exciting competition a year before the Paralympic Games.”

The athletes representing Great Britain in this event include Nathan Milgate who made the final in his first ever Paralympic Games in Beijing, Di Coates, winner of an incredible eight Paralympic medals over a career spanning seven Paralympic Games and Beijing Paralympic Gold medalist Matt Skelhon. Matt said, “I am looking forward to the upcoming event it is a great opportunity to compete on home turf 1 year out from the games. It's great to have competitors coming so far afield. I am confident I will perform to a high standard and my training has been going very well.”

Lucy Crickmore, Major Events Consultant at UK Sport said “UK Sport is delighted to be supporting the IPC shooting approved international competition in 2011, following the successful delivery of the National Lottery supported IPC Shooting World Cup in 2010. UK Sport is committed to bringing world class sporting events to the UK ahead of 2012, in what we believe will be the most comprehensive pre-Games events programme ever staged by an Olympic host nation.”

There are two main categories for disabled shooting, SH1 which is disability not affecting the upper limbs, and SH2 where there is some upper limb impairment. SH2 shooters place their rifles on a spring loaded stand when shooting. The event will feature 10 metre target shooting in both rifle and pistol disciplines. The aim is to shoot as close to the centre of the target as possible, from the outside edge of the circle awarding the shooter one point to the middle scoring ten points. Target shooting is a highly technical sport that requires incredible concentration and consistency. The ten shot finals create incredible tension as scores are announced after each shot and the winner can often be decided by the last pull of the trigger.

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