University of London – How do they make Commonwealth Medallists?
The University of London Rifle Club (ULRC) invites students from across 27 colleges and institutions to try the sport of target shooting. As one of the few sports which can be enjoyed regardless of age, gender or ability, it’s a great way to meet new people and try an exciting and challenging activity while at University. Here ULRC tell us a little bit about their background and what the future holds for the club.
“The University of London was officially founded in 1911, but we can trace our roots back even further to 1900, with the formation of the first university teams to compete at Bisley. We represent over 120,000 students from the 18 self-governing colleges and 9 specialist institutes which together form the University of London, giving our club an enormous range of members from all academic backgrounds. The University of London Rifle Club (ULRC) is now based in a brand new, purpose-built facility located in the heart of London.
Our achievements include our A Team taking first place in Division 1 of the BUCS league in the winter 2013/2014 season. More recently we won the Student Central Club of the Year award in 2017. Many of our members have gone on to compete at county level, with some particularly talented members selected for Great Britain’s Under 19, Under 21 and Under 25 Rifle teams, of whom we are very proud. We have even had members go on to shoot at a national level (including a winner of the Queen’s Prize at the Imperial at Bisley), and some have gone on to win Olympic and Commonwealth medals!
Shooting is a great sport as there are virtually no barriers in order to train yourself to be a very competitive marksman/woman. There are no physical prerequisites – disabilities, gender and physical ability are not important. If you can hold a rifle and see down the sights, you’re good to go!
Competitions are commonly not gender separated either – virtually unheard of in the majority of other sports. Men and women can compete on an equal footing! We also offer what could possibly be the cheapest way to get into shooting – generous subsidies which cover range hire, accommodation and ammunition.
We believe it’s very important to start shooting young – quite apart from the social aspect of being a member of a University Rifle Club, starting young means you have more time to hone your skills, and by the time you leave University you’ll hopefully be looking to join your local rifle club at home. Occasionally we have people join who have experience with target rifle before, sometimes straight from their school, but more commonly after a hiatus. It’s like riding a bike – you never really forget how to do it!
Moving forward, we are very keen to promote our smallbore side. In order to do this, we are investing in superior equipment and organising more internal competitions and friendlies against other Universities to make ‘competition pressure’ a less significant contributor to our scores.
If you’re at University, get in contact with your Students Union to see if they have a rifle club. If you would like to get involved with our club it couldn’t be simpler – send us an email firstname.lastname@example.org or message our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/UniLondonRifleClub/ and we’ll do the rest. Check out our Twitter and Instagram pages too – both are @ulrifleclub