Over the past 40 years or so, Gresham’s School Rifle Club has maintained a top place among shooting clubs and schools.
Few Great Britain Rifle teams now travel overseas without at least one Old Greshamian in their ranks and a high percentage of our pupils are selected to represent their country at Under-19 and Under-25 level, many even before leaving school.
The successful history and tradition of Rifle Shooting at Gresham’s is partly down to the excellent facilities and equipment here at the school. On-site there is a fine 8-lane indoor small-bore range complex. It allows for .22 shooting at 25 yards in three positions (standing, kneeling and prone) and also for air rifle shooting in the standing position at 10 meters using electric target changers. Our firearms and equipment are of the highest quality, with accurate, modern rifles of various types and sizes – including some for left-handers. We take part in some schools competitions, but primarily in adult events at county, country and international level.
Much of our open range shooting, using 7.62 mm full-bore rifles at distances from 300 to 1000 yards, is done at Bisley, Surrey. Here we have our own Club House (the “Pavilion”) where up to 30 pupils can be accommodated and catered for during the 40 or so days annually spent there. Once our newer members have proven themselves, they have the opportunity of being coached by some of the country’s top exponents of the sport – Commonwealth Games medallists, the NRA’s former Chief National Coach and senior GB shots. Experience shows that, given determination from the pupil and the support of parents, we have a very good chance indeed of raising the young target shooter to National Team level.
One of the sport’s greatest attractions is that it is truly ‘unisex’. Many of our best exponents over the years have been girls and, to date, seven of them have been Captains of Shooting.