Teenagers' international target

Four members of the rifle club at Gresham's School in Holt (pictured) have been selected to participate in an international target rifle shooting event.

Four members of the rifle club at Gresham's School in Holt (pictured) have been selected to participate in an international target rifle shooting event.

Harriet Bennett, Ed Johnson and Roland Johnson make up a quarter of the British Schools team that is to compete in a postal .22 contest against the New Zealand Schools, while Robert Stilgoe is a shooting reserve.

Bennett, 17, from Field Dalling, is enjoying her second call-up to the team along with the Johnson brothers. She shoots for both the senior Norfolk team and the county ladies' side. A former British Schools U15 title holder, she is the current British Junior Ladies' champion. She has also shot for the English Schools side in the annual Home Internationals, something she is looking to repeat in the new year.

She has already built up a body of international experience, shooting with a 7.62 fullbore target rifle with her school team in Jamaica and Trinidad against their senior national sides, and as a member of the British Cadets team that toured the Channel Islands last summer.


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Ed Johnson, 17, from Colkirk, already has a vast amount of top level competition behind him and is his club's captain. He has represented Norfolk in both fullbore and smallbore events, and been a member of both the British and English Schools teams last year. Johnson has made a big impression in the fullbore world, winning all bar two of the competitions in the Easter Meeting at Bisley, shot in viciously cold, wet weather.

He has also shot and coached for the UK Cadets in the Inter Services short and long range matches, and for the Great Britain U25 team. The high points in his career to date have been to captain the British Cadets in the Channel Islands, and participating as an 'Atheling' in the Great Britain Cadet team that toured Canada in August. He also led his club's last tour of the West Indies, where the side beat the Trinidadian national team and tied with the Jamaicans.

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While Ed's forté is with a fullbore rifle, brother Roland, 15, has established himself as one of the country's foremost smallbore shots of any age.

He, too, shoots for Norfolk, the English Schools, and is making his second appearance in the British Schools side. His consistent ability to put down perfect scores of 100 awarded him last year's Norfolk Open Handicap championship. Having retained the British U16 smallbore crown this year, Roland's immediate goal is to become the first person to claim a hat-trick of U16 titles.

Rising star Robert Stilgoe, 17, from Burnham Market has been rewarded for consistently improving scores with a berth as a shooting reserve. Like Bennett and the older Johnson, he has shot in the Caribbean against Jamaica and Trinidad. Back in the UK, as well as shooting for the Gresham's A Team, he has worked his way up from Norfolk's reserve team in to the full county side. Stilgoe made the England B Team in this year's school Home Internationals.

All four will shoot two specially issued targets, whose scores are determined by an independent scorer. Their rewards, aside from the honour of representing their county, are an embroidered British Schools blazer badge and a New Zealand Schools pennant.

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