Shooting chance at Bywell

SHOOTING schools and clubs across the UK will open their doors to the public during National Shooting Week from May 3-11.

About 200 public open days are being organised so people can try shooting for the very first time in this special Olympic year.

Anyone can try one of the most popular participation sports in a safe and friendly environment. Shooting is one of the most inclusive Olympic and Paralympic sports, where gender, age and disability are no barriers to success.

National Shooting Week is a Government-backed initiative and organised by the Countryside Alliance on behalf of the British Shooting Sports Council (BSSC), the umbrella body for shooting sports.

Gerry Sutcliffe MP, Minister of Sport said: "UK teams are terrific at winning international medals for shooting so I welcome National Shooting Week as a responsible initiative to promote the sport ahead of Beijing 2008 and London 2012."

Participating grounds locally include Bywell Shooting Ground, near Morpeth, which is holding an open day on May 10.

Organiser, Rob Gray, said: "This is a sport we're good at, which makes a change. At the 2006 Commonwealth Games, shooting accounted for 23 out of the UK's 116 medals. A crack team will travel to Beijing this summer and we expect to score in London 2012. We're hoping that one or two future Olympic stars will take their first ever shots during National Shooting Week."