Shooting trio set sights on Canada

Three north Norfolk teenagers have been selected to take part in a month-long tour of Canada as members of the Great Britain U19 'Athelings' fullbore rifle team.

Three north Norfolk teenagers have been selected to take part in a month-long tour of Canada as members of the Great Britain U19 'Athelings' fullbore rifle team.

Gareth Davies, 18, and Matthew Purdy, 17, already have their plane tickets while Harriet Bennett, 18, as first reserve, is hoping that one of the

12-strong squad will pull out. All are senior members of the rifle club art Gresham's School in Holt.

Great Ryburgh's Purdy, who is his club's captain, already has considerable international experience under his belt from five years in the sport. He has toured Jamaica and Trinidad in the West Indies with his club. He has been a member of the UK Cadets fullbore team in the Inter Services Long Range match.


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A Norfolk and England Schools smallbore shot, he has already shot against the Canadians at Bisley. Most recently, he was a member of the 12-strong British Schools smallbore team that took on New Zealand in a postal competition.

East Runton's Davies has had the majority of his successes with a fullbore (7.62mm) target rifle. He toured the West Indies with the Gresham's team and has also visited South Africa with the Great Britain U19 team. He has shot and coached for the UK Cadets in the Inter Services matches at Bisley.

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A member of both Norfolk's fullbore and smallbore (.22in) sides, the crowning moment of his shooting career so far came at Bisley's Imperial Meeting last year, where he became the youngest person ever to shoot for England in the prestigious National Match.

He has also shot twice for the English Schools in the annual home international and once for the British Schools against New Zealand.

Bale's Bennett, who is Gresham's smallbore captain, has been the British Junior Ladies' champion for the past two years. As well as shooting for the British Schools against New Zealand last year, she has shot for the English Schools in the annual Home Internationals, and for both Norfolk's Senior and Ladies smallbore teams.

Abroad, she has captained the British Cadets fullbore team in the Channel Islands and shot with her club in the West Indies. Last year, she was one of the British Schools smallbore team that took part in the Landsstaevne sporting and cultural event in Denmark.

She is currently pursuing her 50th 'ton' - a perfect score of 100 - and is poised one away at 49.

The trio take up their duties at the Imperial Rifle Meeting at Bisley, Surrey, in July. As Athelings, they will shoot against the Royal Canadian Army Cadets in the UK leg of the Rex Goddard match, and will be aiming for selection for the UK Cadets team that compete against the same opposition in the A G Bell. The team then spends the whole of August in Canada, taking part in the Ottawa and the Dominion of Canada Rifle Association meetings at Connaught Ranges.

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