Duncombe School pupil crowned national top gun

Duncombe School | 2 Jul 2018 | Featured Story | ISC Icon IAPS Icon
Taking the phrase "you never know until you give it a go" to heart, 11-year-old Hertford school-girl Bethany Norton has become an instant shooting star.
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After picking up a shotgun for the first time just two months ago, Bethany has just been crowned the Independent Association of Preparatory Schools (IAPS) U11 Female National Clay Pigeon Shooting Champion - beating many of the boys in what is traditionally a male dominated sport. 

She entered the competition, held at the historic West London Shooting School in Northolt with her only aim not to finish last. 

Instead, after a morning of shooting across five clay disciplines, Bethany was delighted to take the U11 title - with her score higher than the champion in the age category above. 

"After watching shooting at the Olympic and Commonwealth Games I noticed it was a sport that GB does well at," said Bethany, a pupil at Duncombe School. "I also noticed we had few female competitors. So I thought why not give it a go? After a couple of taster sessions at Lee Valley Shooting Ground with Ken Rist, I was hooked. I hit the first few clays and loved it."

"There is a lot more to think about than you might think, and the language is a bit confusing but it is a great feeling to smash a clay that's quickly disappearing away from you between the trees. I have to admit I was a little nervous watching the schools arrive in larger squads with their instructors and kit - compared to me and my dad.

But the organisers were very kind and the marshals at each stand were very supportive, so as soon as I walked in the first stand I felt confident. Clubs all over the UK are trying to encourage girls to try shooting and we fave a few local female shooters that could represent the country in the future.  I know I have to improve - which means a lot more practice, some coaching and eventually some specialist equipment. 

"I'm grateful to Duncombe School for taking a chance on me and putting me forward, and for IAPS for encouraging girls to take part in what is traditionally a boys' sport." 

Duncombe School's Head of Sport Hayley Varney said "I am not surprised that Bethany is the IAPS U11 Female National Clay Pigeon Champion. She has always shown great determination and passion for sport and has never sweated the small stuff. She's an inspiration to us all."

About Duncombe School

As Hertford’s only co-educational independent Primary and Nursery School for ages 2-11, we are proud to have been educating children in and around our community for over 75 years. At Duncombe we believe the best education is a well-rounded one and encourage every child to realise their full potential.

In 2014 we were extremely delighted to be awarded a School Inspection Service report of “Outstanding” for our excellent provision across each of the seven categories, together with a rating of “Outstanding” in all areas for our Early Years Foundation Stage.


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