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The Schools Challenge

Clay shooting for the next generation

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Schools Challenge History

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The Schools Challenge has developed organically. David, of The Oxford Gun Company, had noticed whilst he was in education at Bredon School that there was a sever lack of opportunities for young people to compete in shooting competitions, other than the British Public Schools Championships ("The Nationals" - this no longer exists, finishing shortly after the formation of TSC.)

Whilst David was at school, he spent many years establishing a shooting ground there, using his family's business (The Oxford Gun Company) to encourage students and teachers to enjoy clay shooting, and introducing as many new young people to the sport. David set up a School Shooting Team at Bredon, which entered The Nationals - the Bredon Team were placed a very respectable 9th out of 345 entries!

Further to this success, David wanted to arrange friendly shooting competitions with local schools, to practice for larger competitions. These were particularly for the younger students, knowing that they would benefit most from gaining experience under competition conditions. From this, The Schools Challenge was born!

Initially, The Schools Challenge competitions were all held at the Oxford Gun Company - but demand quickly grew to require a second venue, Bredon School jumped at the chance to get involved and support TSC. The event was combined with the school's summer fete, helping to broaden the interest and significantly increase the reach of TSC. This has now developed into a significant event in the shooting calendar, becoming The Festival of Shooting weekend at Bredon School.

The TSC's success is in no small part down to the incredible generous sponsorship, and particularly from our main sponsors, who've supported TSC from the start. Bowman (providing traps and prizes), Browning (providing shotguns, accessories and prizes), NFU Mutual Aylesbury and of course Bredon School. In 2016 we've also seen a new headline sponsor come on board - The Game Fair - led by James Gower. Without these ongoing and new relationships, David would not have been able to offer such a variety of events for young people, and such an attractive prize fund every year, which helps to draw ever-increasing numbers of young people into this fantastic sport.

Each year, David has tries to bring new and interesting elements to The Schools Challenge programme. For example, a Winter Series has recently been introduced, as many of the youngsters felt they needed more to do during the winter. The University Challenge was also added to allow youngest who'd competed at school to then continue through University. Training and development are as important as the competitions, so more instruction days have been added as too.

In 2014, David also created the TSC Academy - this provides elite individuals with everything they need to excel in clay shooting. From monthly coaching sessions, to mental, fitness and dietary coaching - the academy has proved to be very successful and there have been some outstanding performances over the last few years.