Ian Marsden


I was selected for the 2012 fast track talent team for Air Rifle 10 meter shooting. As part of this selection I attended training camps at Stoke Mandeville in Aylesbury 3 days per week for intense training as part of the fast track programme. This training was split into gym, shooting, and workshops.

Between the training camps I trained at Rugeley rifle club in Staffordshire, and attended the gym for cardio training. I was selected to represent Great Britain on several occasions at World cups, and won Silver in the individual falling target and a Bronze in the team prone while competing in Turkey.

Event Reports


World Cup Shooting Championships 2011 26/4/2011-29/4/2011
I’ve just got home from the World Cup in Antalya Turkey shooting for Team GB, with 16 countries competing. It was a long trip travelling from Heathrow London to Istanbul which was 3.5 hours, then a 3 hour wait then another flight to Antalya 1.5 hours. After getting to Antalya we had to collect all the bags and wait for the Rifles to come through with security and then they did a random check on my rifle to make sure all the paper work matched. From the airport to the hotel took about another 1 hour, so I left my house at 4am and got to the Hotel in Turkey after 11:30pm.

The Hotel was an all inclusive resort, which was very nice. It was strange doing an International shoot based on a Holiday resort, the comps took place inside one of the big Hotel rooms, which again was strange as the ceiling had a disco setting and the floor was very deep carpet. This setting did help though as it made me more relaxed as it did not feel like a big comp, with people on Holiday walking around etc.

Every day was long getting up at at 6:30am and going to bed at 11pm having done training, watching and supporting my team mates and shooting myself. I shot in R1 Standing, R3 Prone and Falling Target. On my first day I shot R1 Standing, my aim of this International comp was to gain more experience at this level. My first shoot went well and things went to plan, shooting the 60 shot match which has a time limit of 1h:45min to shoot all 60 shots including sighters.

On the next match I shot the Falling Targets, this is 5 targets with holes that reduce in size going from 1-5 as each hole gets smaller. The first hole is the easier and it gets allot harder as you shoot each target, and the last hole is so small that the pallet does not fit in the hole. When you hit the hole in the target a metal plate falls down to cover the hole.

The match starts with prep time to set-up and sighters, but you cannot sight the rifle up because you cannot see where the shots have gone which makes it very hard. Then you have to place out 5 pallets on the table (You only have 5 shots each round so one per target) and on command you are told to load then start. You only have 2.5 minutes to shoot all 5 shots. Then you repeat this again for one more round, and the top 2 scores go through to the next round, and so on until they have 4 shooters in the Final.

This was only the second time I had shot falling Target, the first being last September. I shot well in the first round and went straight through to the next round, then shot well again and made the final shoot. This was the first time I had made a final, which I did not have a break between rounds as the final was done straight after I shot my last round. I held it together in my first final shooting well again and getting second place on the podium, so my first Silver Medal at an International event.

My final comp was R3 Prone, this was another 60 shot match but with a time limit of 1h:15min including sighters. I was shooting late afternoon and it was very warm, so the first time shooting in these conditions, I had a good shoot again, and this was only my 3rd time shooting Prone in the last 12 months so was a very good experience at International level.

On the last night all the teams attended the closing ceremony and Banquet. I went up to get my Silver Medal for the Falling Plate comp, and was surprised to be called up again the get Bronze Medal for the R3 Prone Team which included Myself, Matthew Skelhone (Paralympic Gold Medal in R3 Prone 2008) and Deanna Coates (several times Paralympic medallist). We had won the 3rd place Team position in the R3 Prone, so another medal Bronze for the Team.

So overall my individual position I came 12 out of 25 in my class which was SH1 Male, a good result for my first big International shoot overseas, and getting a couple of medals which was a bonus as I was gaining more International experience.

National Shooting Championships 2010 18/6/2010 - 20/6/2010
Training on the Fast Track programme is going well, I’ve just got home from the Disabled national Air Rifle Championships at Stoke Mandeville. This was my first Nationals, which started on Friday 18th June - Sunday 20th June 2010.

I competed in the men’s 10 meter Air Rifle SH1 Standing shoot (Standing meaning holding the Rifle with no support like able body shooter, and SH1 is my International Paralympic Committee (IPC) classification for Disabled shooting.

I set off for Stoke Mandeville stadium early Friday morning, having had a couple of days rest prior to the championships. I arrived 2 hours before I was due to do my first shoot on the Friday, so had a bit of time to recover from the drive and get some food / drink.

After having my shooting equipment checked in control I got my kit sorted and ready for the first comp. The shoot consists of 60 shots within a time limit of 1 hour 45 minutes you have 10 minutes prep time allowing you to get yourself sorted on the firing point and when the clock starts unlimited sighting shots, but all must be done within the allowed time.

My first 30 shots went very well, but I tried to change my position half way through the comp as some of my shots were starting to drift to the right, just outside the 10 ring. But this was not a wise move, and as a result the remaining 20 shots resulted in me losing more points than if I had stayed in the same place. But as I am still new to this I guess I will make some mistakes along the way, but will learn from them in the future. I was shooting in a very strong class of shooters, which included no less than Paralympians Matt Skelhon (Paralympic Gold medallist 2008 and ranked top in the World) and Nathan Milgate also ranked in the top 10 World Rankings, and both are part of the full-time Paralympic performance team.

I know Matt and Nathan quite well now, and have shot in training camps next to them in practice trials since March this year. Due to being in the same SH1 class as two of the best 10 meter shooters in the World not forgetting the rest of the 8 shooters to who all have been shooting for a number of years, I was not hoping for too much this year just experience.

On the Friday evening after the first lot of comps, a few of us including Matt went to watch the England game, which us lot in chairs could have done better with our eyes closed. So after the game went straight to bed to get a good nights sleep before the next comp on the Saturday Morning at 11am. The day started off cold and wet, but with a good breakfast I was ready for my final match. Again everything at the start went very well, I took a little longer to sight the rifle in, but got on with the match. Again about half way through I changed position slightly to try and improve my shots, but the same thing happened as on Friday, so I wished I had not changed again!!

After the 60 shots, the scores / positions were announced, and it was decided that the top 4 shooter were to go through to the Olympic Final, and my name was called out I was very surprised and happy to be in my first Olympic Final Shoot, which as you would expect contained the 2 Paralympians Matt and Nathan, and one other shooter Neil, who has been shooting for many years and had always made the final every year and placed in the top 3. In shooting the 2 comps you do before are always the qualifying rounds with the aim of getting in the Olympic Final. The Olympic Final consists of 3 minutes prep time, 5 minutes sighting time and then 10 shots on command with a time limit of 75 seconds for each shot. So the judge would start by saying "for your next competition shot Load" then count down 3,2,1 start, then you have 75 seconds to take the shot. After every shot the score is announced for each shooter this time to the decimal place for example 10.1 / 9.5 etc and 10.9 being the perfect shot. Also you only get a clap and cheer from the crowd if you hit a 10 and above nothing for less than a 10. This was my first Olympic Final, and you don’t get a lot of time to set up and sight in, and the pressure is unreal as they announce your score every time it puts you under pressure as less than a 10 is no good.

But as it was my first Olympic Final, I coped very well sitting next to a Paralympic Gold Medallist seeing what hi shot before the score was called out and knowing what I had shot. But I shot several 10.4 and lowest was a 9.2, which was good, as Matt had shot an 8.4 on one of his shots.

After the 10 shots, I had shot very well and placed 3rd behind Nathan who cam 1st and Matt who came 2nd. I was very surprised and very happy.