British Shooting recently announced their World Class Programme for 2020 – 2021 and six Welsh athletes were selected to the Podium and National Academy elements of the programme.
Mr John Dallimore MBE, Performance Director, commented on the continued achievements by Welsh athletes: “After the successes of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, Welsh athletes are still performing at a high level and six selections to the World Class Programme is unprecedented.”
The six Welsh athletes compete in five different disciplines; Olympic Skeet, Olympic Trap, Paralympic Rifle, Pistol, and Rifle. Mr Dallimore further commented that “for the first time we have athletes included in all the Olympic and Paralympic shooting disciplines.” The Welsh athletes selected to the World Class Programme are:
- Ben Llewellin – Olympic Skeet
- Lewis Owen – Olympic Trap
- Georgina Roberts – Olympic Trap
- Craig Welsh – Paralympic Rifle
- James Miller – Pistol
- Mike Bamsey – Rifle
The WTSF national range facilities in Cardiff support Welsh and other British athletes. Dean Bale (rifle) shoots for England and has also been selected to the World Class Programme and trains in Cardiff. When commenting on the number of South Wales based athletes selected on to the British Shooting programme, Mr Dallimore said that it is “because of the excellent facilities we have in the principality.”
Mr Dallimore also paid tribute to Welsh shooting coaches, stating “Without doubt, thanks need to go to the unstinting work of the coaches.” Richard Stepney and Mat Goodwin coach shotgun disciplines in Wales, Alan Green coaches pistol athletes and both Steve Downes and David Phelps coach rifle and Paralympic shooters.
The WTSF’s strategic plan launched earlier this year and set an objective to maintain 10% Welsh representation on British Shooting programmes. This news shows that 14% of the athletes on the World Class Programme come from Wales and is testament to both the people and facilities in Wales that support British shooting talent.