VISUALLY IMPAIRED SHOOTING
Shooting is a sport in which the disabled can take part as many competitions are specially developed for less able shooters. It may seem like a contradiction in terms but we have some club members who are blind! The secret is in the specially adapted air guns which have sights that create a sound in earphones worn by the shooter. The sound becomes higher in pitch as the rifle nears the bull, and the shooter fires when the sound reaches its highest peak. This is a lot more difficult than it sounds, as those of us who are sighted and have tried the rifles can testify.
> SHOOTING FOR THE VISUALLY IMPAIRED
Tubslake Shooting club members being shown the modified equipment.
After the paralympics the Kent and Sussex Courier visited the club and the following article by Amy de Keyser was featured in the paper:
"Although shooting for the blind is not yet recognised as a Paralympic event, there are calls to include it in the competition.
Tubslake Shooting Club, in Hawkhurst, is one of only a handful of clubs throughout the UK with facilities for visually impaired people to try out target shooting.
Davey Geater, pictured below, travels from Newhaven every two weeks to shoot at the club's range.
The 31-year-old, who lost his sight after suffering a severe head injury in a work accident in 2004, said: "I have been shooting all my life, before I was blind."
"My dad was always into it and I used to go with him. I always loved it."
He said joining the shooting club was very important to him, adding: "It has been amazing, it has meant so much to me. It's somewhere I can go and shoot without anyone moaning at me.
"It's one more thing for me to do. Having this to do is another thing to take my mind off of things."
Mr Geater said he was already getting into the swing of his new sport, having hit a bullseye a few weeks ago.
Club secretary Granville Davies said he hoped blind shooting would one day be recognised as a Paralympic event, adding: "It should be included in the Paralympics. I have no doubt it will eventually figure, but you need a body of men and women who can shoot well enough to reach the Paralympic standard."
Ken Nash, chairman of the National Small-bore Rifle Association said the sport gives people a "great sense of achievement", adding: "It's not an easy sport. It requires a lot of dedication, but people of every level are catered for."
>Davey lining up a shot with (former) club chairman Dave Presgrave acting as loader.
The hard work pays off as Davey is presented with a gold medal won in a national competition.