It has been four months since the global pandemic was declared by WHO. Then, just a few weeks later we received news of the cancellation of the Olympic Games in Tokyo. With localised and national lockdowns subsequently enforced, our team ELEY athletes had to stop shooting and put training on pause.
When there’s no shooting ranges to train at or competitions to enter, what have our athletes been doing in their spare time? With rules being somewhat relaxed, we caught up with them to find out how they’ve been using their time.
I have had some problems with my arm just before lockdown, but I am now gradually returning to training. My husband was on vacation so we got the chance to travel a bit around the country. I have lived in Austria, but have seen almost nothing here. During lockdown I had the opportunity to get acquainted with the country. Over the past 20 years, I have not had such a long break between competitions so the quarantine has had its positive points for me.
During quarantine, I gave more priority to the physical and mental training. We can’t go to the shooting range so I decided to reduce training to few hours a week on Scatt. Then, to keep busy the rest of the time I have read some books and made some outdoor work at my home. Manual work is a great way to reduce stress.
Now we’re restarting to work. Actually just some training camps, low and localized work on the basics of shooting techniques, and keeping focused on physical and mental work. I hope that coronavirus is beaten as soon as possible, and then we can enjoy our competition and #roadtoTOKYO202ONE.
Snjezana has taken the opportunity to travel around her native Croatia with her camera in hand taking some fantastic pictures of the landscape. However, once lockdown was eased and competitions started again, Snjezana was straight back to it.
“The weekend of July 11th hosted the Croatian Nationals which I finished with two golds thanks to the best ammo out there.”
Lorraine has been continuing to win big. Just before the UK went into lockdown, Lorraine was given the Inspirational Sports Women of the Year award for Portsmouth and another accolade from British Shooting. She even took part in an interview with the BBC to talk about shooting sports and the impact of the Olympic postponement.
Most notably, though, Lorraine has been raising money for the NHS Together Charity. The Paralympian launched the Target Tokyo Challenge for all British Shooting athletes, coaches and staff to help raise money for the NHS staff and volunteers. The aim was to virtually bike, run, spin, ride, walk and even canoe (yes you read that right), the virtual distance to Tokyo by road of 8,200 miles.
Check out how they get on;
View this post on Instagram
Speaking of the challenge, Lorraine said “I am so proud of the way the team have challenged themselves by doing exceptional things. From cycling again after not being on a bike for years, pushing a marathon or cycling the length of the country.”
Donate to the Target Tokyo Challenge fundraising page here.
Since winning the TRV state championship in early March I haven’t been able to visit the range due to the Covid-19 lockdown. In this time in between cooking, homeschooling and growing a beard, my five year old daughter Zoe and I have taken up gaming.
At the end of June restrictions were lifted so I was able to return to the range. Due to time constraints with Zoe and complying with the new rules at the range, I only had very little time to shoot so only shot one card. The wind was fairly testing so I was extremely happy to shoot a 248.12. Not long after this Melbourne has been put back into another lockdown so I’m unsure when I will be shooting again.
I used the lockdown to train the body and the mind, having lost 15kgs. Now, I’m back to training using my new ammo and ready for the upcoming QLD State Titles later this month. Most other competitions are cancelled, but I’m hopeful the Nationals will still happen in November.
Big news for me; I shot a total time of 58.42seconds in Rimfire Rifle Open at the Tier I Little River Sportsman’s Association in Valdosta Georgia on Saturday 27th June. This is the fastest time ever shot in Steel Challenge in any of the 13 divisions.
I have been training at my local range and trying to stay up with the latest gear while matches aren’t happening. We have been able to do a few matches lately and I sure feel rusty!
Mario De Graeve
Last weekend I went back to the range for the first time since the beginning of March. I did not get any possibility to train in the past couple of months so I did not know what to expect.
But I must say that from the first shot I was fully focused and things were coming back very quickly. I shot five benchrest cards at 50m. Four of them achieved the maximum score of 250 points so it looked like business as usual.
I must say it was an indoor range. The problem will be at an outdoor range and reading the wind flags. This will reflect missing training during the last couple of months much more.
All ranges in Belgium are back to business so it’s time to recover the lost time.
Ben & Emma Ducker
We’ve been lucky to have access to a private range with one of our sponsors so have been able to get some practice in. I’ve also filmed a bit of promo for the English Shooting and Gunroom.tv YouTube channels. I did segments on ‘use of bipods in mini rifle’, ‘belt rig basics’ and ‘what’s in my range bag’.
On the non-shooting side we’ve had a few trips out to a remote section of beach (NOT Bournemouth!) and some walks in the countryside enjoying the peace and quiet. Generally trying to make the most of what we are still allowed to do. We also picked up a new kitten just before lockdown so he’s now 6 months old and basically a full sized cat already! (I don’t think he thinks that we go to work…!)
Keep up to date with all of our athletes, by following the #teamELEY hashtag on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.