As with all sports and clubs, this year has presented some significant challenges for AUL TSC, from how to train safely in compliance with legislation and guidance, to the absence of competitions.
We trained on the indoor 200m track at the Manchester Regional Arena during last winter and were just getting ready to head outdoors to the 400m athletic track and target sprint range when UK lockdown happened. The bulk of the competitions were due to occur during this period.
Emerging from lockdown, restrictions by England Athletics reduced our ability to run open sessions for a period, but we managed to interest athletic runners into the sport and could run sessions with the athletic club members.
June saw a change to these restrictions, and our regulars could now attend. One of the positive outcomes of CoVid was the replacement of the regional monthly training sessions with weekly sessions. In fact we managed to run sessions for 20 out of 21 weeks prior to the second national lockdown, despite being in Tier 3 type restrictions since July.
July saw the re-opening of the indoor ranges, and this meant we could restart our weekly indoor range sessions, although sadly the Scouts in the area have not managed to restart, and we miss their smiley faces at taster sessions.
We also affiliated with Tameside sports network, enabling support for our clubs growth, and access to local press.
In total we have run over 50 sessions this year, far more than in previous years despite lockdowns, and have been experimenting with more of the science behind our sports, so it is not all negative.
We now have access to an electronic trainer, and our coaching staff have been productive with their personal development during the year adding athletic qualifications to the mix. We now have an NSRA County coach, a Club Airgun Instructor and several Youth Proficiency Scheme tutors in air rifle and sports crossbow in the team, most of whom are also Target Sprint Leaders.
Looking forward, 2021 still looks challenging, especially with international competitions, but National Governing Bodies and sporting organisations are adapting to enable target sports competitions to continue, with some very positive changes happening.
We are planning on continuing the momentum with regular training sessions next year with at least one competition. We are broadening our horizons into endurance events looking at longer and more running laps and hope to get back into the indoor track as soon as we are allowed.
We also have an open invite to a live Biathlon range which we hope to take advantage of in the first half of 2021.
Merry Christmas and have a great New Year