Sam’s in like a shot to win junior title

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A TEENAGER is celebrating after winning the junior title for England at the Home International Competition in Ireland where he shot Olympic skeet.

Sam McGonigal, 19, from Hatfield Woodhouse, arrived in Ireland on August 17 for a couple of days’ practice before the big event on Saturday 20.

Sam’s mum, Maggie, 52, said: “I had to stay at home so Sam went with his dad and I got regular updates throughout the competition. I was waiting for the phone call at the end and I screamed when I heard. It’s just absolutely fantastic.”

Sam has a lesson once or twice a week and, due to the rarity of the sport, has to travel to Beverley around 40 minutes away. However, he can practice at home without firing his gun as Maggie says he can “do the movements”.

“It is a very expensive sport when you consider travel expenses and he went to Belgrade last month for the European Championships and he will be going again in September for the World Championships. He made it onto the England team this year and it turned out to be good timing with the Championships.”

Despite the high expenditure at times the sport is very family orientated due to the amount of travelling they need to do together.

Sam has been shooting since he was 12 and began on the Olympic skeet around three years ago.

To make it into the Home International Competition Sam had to make it through a number of various selected shoots around the UK and the amount of points he achieved determined his place in Ireland.