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Shooting star

Michael Bamsey competes in Air Rifle events

Sapper Michael Bamsey, 25, tells The Locker how the Army is helping him develop into a world-class marksman

I’ve been competing since I was 12-years-old in both small bore and air rifle events, and I was an active international before I joined the Army.

If I hadn’t joined the Army I wouldn’t have been able to pursue my shooting career due to the lack of support and resources in the UK.

The Army has allowed me to join the Troops To Target programme which provides full-time training and support for those looking to become competitive on the international stage.

Through the programme I’m now able to train four days a week and I get regular access to both the 10 metre and 50 metre ranges. Alongside competing as a high- performance Welsh athlete I am able to train with the National Welsh Squad at the high performance facility in Cardiff on a regular basis for their team weekends.

The Army is fantastic when it comes to supporting its athletes and sportspeople. There is an abundance of support in regards to treatment, funds for competition, equipment and also the use of sport science including strength and conditioning, and sport psychology. Army sport is on track for making its athletes competitive simply by allowing them the opportunity to practise and train their craft. It’s a model that is successfully initiated by other militaries around the world who regularly have podium finishes.

Going to the Commonwealth Games was a special privilege unlike any other. To be considered good enough to go is reward enough, but being able to compete alongside some of the best athletes in the world will pay dividends in the future when it comes to shooting alongside them at major championships.

My ambition is to represent Great Britain at the Olympic Games, maintain a position as consistent Great Britain number one, and be a contender for major international medals.

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