Monday 9 December 2019

Interview with Ian Coley

Six-time Olympic coach Ian Coley chats to SoGlos about running one of the UK's top shooting schools, Rio 2016, his love of shooting and his impressive career highlights.

Ian Coley, owner of Ian Coley Shooting School near Cheltenham, has an impressive sporting career that includes representing Great Britain at shooting, coaching Team GB Olympic gold-winning medallists and being awarded an MBE for his services to Clay Target Shooting.

In this interview, SoGlos chats to Ian about his love of shooting and coaching, his career highlights, tips for beginners and what to expect when visiting the shooting school – with activities for every level.

How did you first get into the sport?

From a young man, I have always had an interest in shooting. This interested progressed further when I became a game keeper after leaving school.

Who has been the biggest influence on your career?

The biggest influence on my career has to be Bob Braithwaite. Watching him win gold for trap shooting at the 1960 Olympics in Mexico City very much inspired me to pursue my interest in shooting. Little did I know that I would be a part of Team GB for the next one!

What made you decide to set up the shooting school?

I’ve always wanted to have a shooting school as it allows me to do what I love while earning a living.

Can you tell us a bit about the different activities visitors can try at the school?

There are so many different activities to do at Ian Coley. There’s something for everyone, from people who have never fired a gun before to professionals looking to improve and practice.

Which is most popular?

All of our packages are very popular as we offer something to suit every skillset. Our Have-a-Go clay shooting packages are very popular for beginners as they offer everything you need to get started. The hour lesson includes 25 clays and cartridges with one of our professional instructors. The aim of these lessons is to help build confidence along with gun safety.

Are there certain targets that are more challenging than others?

Obviously each individual struggles with different targets. But probably targets coming off the high tower would be the most challenging.

What are your top tips for someone who’s never tried clay shooting?

Book yourself in for a beginner’s lesson; our team of professional instructors will make your session fun and memorable.

A massive highlight was coaching Richard Faulds to gold at the Sydney Olympics and Peter Wilson to gold at London.

Can you explain the difference between clay shooting and air rifle shooting?

With clay shooting, the main aim is to hit moving clay pigeons at varying heights and speeds. Whereas, rifle shooting is more based around shooting still targets with varying levels of accuracy.

What skills can visitors expect to pick up at Ian Coley?

Visitors will enjoy the thrill and satisfaction of breaking clays and the thoroughly enjoy the whole shooting experience.

What’s been your career highlight?

Being a six times Olympic coach. I first shot for Great Britain in 1971, and since then I have represented the country on over 200 occasions – either as a shooter, coach or team manager.

A massive highlight was coaching Richard Faulds to gold at the Sydney Olympics and Peter Wilson to gold at London. The 2012 London games were very special to me.

Are you enjoying watching the Olympic Games?

I’ve been watching all sports with admirations for their skill and determination. With clay pigeon shooting I was of course shooting all of the clays with the respected Team GB shooters. Even then I was nervous on seeing the shooting medals revealed; it brought a tear to my eye.

For more information, see Ian Coley Shooting School, call (01242) 870391, or visit directly.

© SoGlos
Monday 15 August 2016

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