We caught up with our very own Olympic Skeet Shooter, Amy Brown.
If you’re a regular reader of the Pellpax blog, you’ll recognise this lady. Amy Brown, just 20 years old, is a world-class Olympic skeet shooter, who has already competed in several international events all over Europe. On her return home from Malta, where she competed in the Malta Grand Prix, Amy talked to me about her shooting career and the role that Pellpax, as her sponsor, is playing in her climb to the top.
The Malta Grand Prix 2017 took place from June 10 to June 18 at the Malta Shooting Sport Federation (MSSF) ranges at Bidnija, a tiny village in the northern part of Malta. The MSSF was established in 1908, and in 2008 it produced a book, A Century of Organised Shooting Sport in Malta. In his introduction, president Saviour Portelli says that the work of the MSSF “makes shooting sport the primary sport in Malta, and thus our country expects shooting to provide the first Olympic medal”.
In temperatures reaching 30°C, Amy and her fellow competitors shot daily from 9a.m. to 7p.m. For a whole week, the athletes spent most of their time in each other’s company, and, despite an abundance of competitive spirit within the group, there was plenty of camaraderie and bonhomie. Amy told me, “Training and competing alongside these excellent shots gives me inspiration to push forward.”
Malta wasn’t Amy’s first experience of shooting in intense heat. In the summer of 2016, Pellpax funded her trip to Málaga, where she trained hard and competed in the Junior Grand Prix, winning Gold in the Junior Ladies event.
Amy is trained by coach Iain McGregor, who is based at Auchterhouse, in Dundee. Iain has been coaching for more than 30 years, and has achieved all three levels of International Sports Federation Coaching Certificates. He is one of the most highly qualified and experienced shotgun coaches in the UK, and holds international qualifications at the highest level.
Amy’s first step on her shooting career ladder was success at the Target Tokyo trials, after being scouted by an APSI (Association of Professional Shooting Instructors) coach during the summer of 2015. Since then, she has competed in the British Championships, the Captain’s Cup, the Grand Prix in Holland (winning team gold and high gun and shooter of the competition), and international competitions in Serbia and at Bisley Shooting Ground, in Surrey. In the past nine months, Amy has won a Gold in Málaga and a Bronze in Malta – her first senior competition.
Results like these don’t come easily. Amazingly, Amy is studying for a degree in Law at Northumbria University, in Newcastle. Despite a heavy study workload and a gruelling training regime, Amy is a regular visitor at the campus gym, where she works out to build and maintain her stamina and upper body strength. (“It’s vital to maintain a high level of training at all times.”)
In her pursuit of excellence, Amy has had to tackle many mental challenges. Travelling to new places and living among strangers can be daunting, but Amy doesn’t give in to nerves. She continually pushes herself to her limits, overstepping the bounds of her comfort zone.
“It’s made me mentally stronger and more capable of holding my nerve in competitions.”
Amy’s next competition will be in Finland, mid-July. We all wish our Pellpax Girl every success!
You can follow Amy’s progress by heading to her Twitter account.