Day 10 – Sun 26th Mar – Practice day for the Australia Match

26th March The day before the Australia match… Tomorrow is the day the team has been preparing for, for nearly 18 months. Whilst only a proportion of the team will shoot or coach in the match, all 21 of us that flew out to South Africa has a role to play. Unusually in South Africa, the range was open on a Sunday as an official Australia Match practice day. We did our usual morning prep…
Read more

Day 9 – Sat 25th Mar – Team and individual

Another glorious day in paradise, the team awoke on the day of team selection – nerves were high – but the team successfully got up, packed the necessary gear and headed off to the range. No one forgot anything… well, someone may have underestimated how many rounds we would need for today and not brought enough, but this diarist is not in the habit of naming names… are they Jane. The morning, blue skies and…
Read more

Day 8 – Fri 24th Mar – Club teams

The morning of the 24th was an early start for the GB Rifle Team. A VERY early start. Leaving the hotel at 6:30am to get to the range was tough for some but why did we decide to leave this early? Today was opening ceremony – so we would all be in attendance for the flag raising before shooting commenced. Australia, Canada, USA and GB, as well as a large number of South Africans were…
Read more

Day 7 – Thu 23rd March – Individual day 1

Day 7 of the GB Rifle Team tour to South Africa – and today began much like any other day on tour, awoken to beautiful sunshine, soaring temperatures and an amazing correlation between age of tourer and at what time they turn up for breakfast (I’ll leave you to figure out which way is which). Today would be the same as yesterday for the team, practice individual shoots at 300, 600, 800 and 900M. However,…
Read more

Day 6 – Wed 22nd March – Free State Championship

Another day, another glorious morning in Bloemfontein. The hotel swimming pool sure does look inviting… But instead, for the GB Rifle Team, today was the first day of individual shooting, the “Freestate Championships”. Many of our training weekends were focused on team shooting format, where each firer is in a target team and assigned a dedicated wind coach. Essentially, the shooter is purely a “shooting platform” focused on one thing and one thing only –…
Read more

Day 5 – Tue 21st March – First day on Range

The 21st March in South Africa is the “Human Rights” bank holiday, set on this date as the anniversary of the establishment of the South African Human Rights Commission. While the majority of South Africa took a well-earned day off, for the GBRT Rifle team, it was very much the opposite. It was our first day of shooting and the entire team was at breakfast, on average, a good 2 hours earlier than previous days….
Read more

Day 4 – Mon 20th March – Further preparation and relaxation

Today the team enjoyed a rest day -that is all of us except our long suffering armourer who sorted out the Under 25 team rifles,  checking and re bedding where required.Toys r us might have wondered why a grown man needed play do.  And of course Jackie our physio continued to try and get team backs in order. Jane, Nigel, James L ,Richard and Glyn spent an enjoyable morning strolling around the Botanic gardens.  Climbing…
Read more

Day 3 – Sun 19th March – Preparation

After watching the England vs Ireland rugby match last night the team moved on to a late (very late for Blomfontein) dinner at a restaurant frequented often during previous tours to Blomfontein. Disappointment for most of the team, tempered by glee from Irish representation, in no way impaired the collective appetite. Therefore this morning only a few felt able to deal with a full three course breakfast at 7am, some taking advantage of a rare…
Read more

Day 2 – Sat 18th March

Hmmm… what to write for a day we begin 35,000 feet in the air? After finally setting off as we entered the 18th March moods were high and the team were settling into a few drinks/trying to sleep/movie watching. We received a few admiring glances from other passengers as well, clearly impressed with the fantastically designed GB logo embroidered on our kit. Wait until you see our ties! We arrived at 8:30am into Jo-burg, to…
Read more

Day 1 – Fri 17th March

Departure day dawned, with some sun and happily no rain. The organised – or holiday rich – stayed at Bisley overnight and sauntered over to the Surrey Hut for the prescribed 10am kick off for team packing. The rest of us, having negotiated the normal morning traffic delays, arrived flustered and apologetic during the course of the morning. Matt Millar, undertaking the onerous task of team baggage master, excelled, so much so that order was…
Read more