On the 22nd May 2019, the Athletics Union at the University of Exeter hosted a Colours and Awards Ceremony for all of the outstanding athletes who have deserved official recognition for their achievements.
Three members of the Rifle Club were chosen to receive awards this year. Jason Pepera-Hibbert was awarded University Colours, the highest accolade that can be bestowed by the University, for his fantastic achievements this year as a member of the GB U25 squad that competed in the World Championships in Trentham, New Zealand.
Our Club Captain, Natasha, also received an award at the ceremony. She received the Club Award for her outstanding commitment and service to the society throughout her time serving as Captain.
Huge congratulations to Natasha, all of her hard work has been recognised by the Athletics Union – in addition to her Club Award this year, she was also shortlisted to the final 6 out of all 50 AU Sports Societies for Club Captain of the Year.
And finally, Danny Lay also received an award this year – Club Colours, but due to training commitments unfortunately could not attend the ceremony. Congratulations to Danny for all of his successes this year, including his amazing performance at ESSU.
Congratulations to the Rifle Club’s three recipients of Colours and Awards this year, you all deserve your success and recognition!
Awards season is well underway here in Exeter, and our final celebration of the year, the End of Season Dinner and Awards Ceremony on Saturday 25th May was surely the highlight of the social calendar. We arrived at Harry’s Restaurant on Longbrook Street at 7:30pm to start the festivities.
The celebration was a particularly important one this year, as it marked the 50th Anniversary of the club, which was established in November 1968. So, in addition to celebrating all of the societies’ successes this year and the individuals who made them, we were also in celebration of the 50 years of rich history that our society contains.
In addition to the fantastic food and drink, and the wonderful hospitality that Harry’s Restaurant provided, there was also a speech by the Club Captain.
It’s been a challenging year for the Rifle committee, and yet the society hasn’t been without its successes, both individual and as part of a team. We had two club trips to Bisley again this year, furthering the membership’s interest and ability to practise fullbore, and have entered multiple smallbore competitions including the famous Turkey Shoot down at Budleigh Farm to shoot long range smallbore. The club’s wider influence within the shooting community has been greatly improved, with links being forged between EURC and BYSA, PTSC, LMRA and RAFSAA to name just a few.
But, the realest measure of EURC is the turnout here tonight.
Someone once told me that life’s truest happiness is found in the friendships we make along the way. For me, EURC has been a huge part of my life here at university. Trust me when I say I have put more thought and time into this society than either of my two degrees. I have always been attracted to the shooting community, since I started target rifle over 10 years ago at the age of 12. There is just something hugely special about the camaraderie that shooting sports create.
When attending various shooting events and matches throughout the past two years, on multiple occasions I have bumped into historic ex-Club Captains of EURC. Together, we reminisce of our times in the society.
This made me realise something.
We are all part of something incredibly, incredibly special. We will always and forever be a part of EURC, that is something that nobody can take away from us. 10, 15 or even 20 years from now, we might bump into each other and share some of the memories we have made together here in this society.
It has been my absolute pleasure to serve the society as its 50th Captain this year, and it has been an honour to be surrounded by the people who show what it truly means to “bleed green”. Thank you.
This speech was followed by the Awards Ceremony. The first awards were the Smallbore and Fullbore Colours, presented by our Smallbore Captain, Danny Lay and our Fullbore Captain, Tom Hill.
Congratulations to the following recipients of Smallbore Colours: James MacTaggart David Chalmers
Congratulations to the following recipients of Fullbore colours: Thomas De La Cour Louisa Collier
Then, our Club Captain Natasha presented the Top Gun awards, which are presented to people whom show the most fantastic display of riflery during their time in the society.
Congratulations to the following recipients of Top Gun Awards: Jason Pepera-Hibbert Danny Lay David Chalmers Thomas De La Cour
The next award is steeped with history of the society, initially created in 2012/13, and has been awarded by a series of Club Captains of the society to two recipients. Congratulations to Steph Chanter and Louisa Collier for their keenness, commitment to the club and excellent riflery this year.
Following these awards, Natasha, Club Captain introduced three new awards this year. The first is Sportsperson of the Year Award, which was awarded to Jason Pepera-Hibbert for his outstanding achievements over the past year including representing the GB U25 team in Trentham, New Zealand for the World Championships.
The second new award was the Sportsperson of the Year Award (Novice) which recognises a tyro within the society who has done exceptionally well or shown a lot of keenness and commitment to target rifle so early on in their shooting career. Yuan Zuo received the Sportsperson of the Year Award (Novice) trophy for his outstanding commitment to the sport this year.
The final new award of the season is The Volunteer Award which was created by our Club Captain, Natasha, to recognise the exceptional and outstanding commitment and work towards the society that has been undertaken by individuals on a voluntary basis. The two inaugural recipients of The Volunteer Award this year are Amy Denson and Thomas De La Cour. Natasha was inspired to create this award when working together with Richard Stebbings, Chairman of the British Young Shooters Association to further the peaceful pursuit of marksmanship at Exeter University.
All in all, in every report it was a fantastic evening to celebrate and commemorate both our 50 years of target rifle shooting as a society and all of the fantastic members who have made this year both so successful and so special.
Congratulations to all those which received awards and Happy 50th Birthday to Exeter University Rifle Club!
Our Senior Advisor and ex-Fullbore Captain Jason has just finished competing in the ICFRA U25 World Championships, far away from home in New Zealand. He’s done team GB incredibly proud: attaining U25 individual 4th overall, achieving the top GB individual score, and becoming the U25 long range World Champion. This shows the product of not only his innate talent for target shooting, but also reflects the hard work and hours of training that he has dedicated to this fantastic sport.
Taking a look back at his previous shooting achievements and his fullbore career to date, this doesn’t come as a surprise to those who know him. Jason has always shown his incredible marksmanship prowess when competing alongside and for the society, and as an extension his supreme coaching ability with our members, novice and experienced alike.
Jason started out in the university club in 2016, already making a splash as an ex-Atheling coming from a school renowned for its shooting prowess, Wellington College. Immediately proving his worth he was selected for the club A teams in both smallbore and fullbore, achieving gold in the fullbore individuals competition at the Imperial that summer.
Continuing to develop both the society and his wider coaching skills, he became the fullbore captain at Exeter and returned to his Wellington shooting roots to coach the school teams in his breaks from his studies. That summer at the 149th Imperial meeting, he achieved silver in the individuals and was on the winning team, earning Exeter gold overall in Fullbore BUCS 2018. Jason’s personal feats in the Imperial that summer did not end there – after coming 16th in HM Queen’s final, renowned as the most coveted prize in the shooting world, and achieving his X-class status, all at the young age of 20.
It was clear that Jason was not done yet and had much more to offer, as evidenced when he jetted off to New Zealand for the U25 World Championships. This was preceded by numerous weekends travelling between Exeter, Devon and the National Shooting Centre Bisley, Surrey for weeks of training with the rest of the U25 GB squad – it seemed like nothing was going to stop him, even when Bisley was covered in a thick blanket of snow during storm Emma in March 2018.
All the hard work lead up to flying out to NZ on 19th January, a quick pit-stop in Hong Kong and some well deserved down time in Taupo, NZ to relax before the important matches up ahead.
The wind conditions were particularly challenging, perhaps reflected in some of the scores attained at long range, with Jason scoring 50 v 2 and 48 v 1 at 900 yards, and 46 v 4 and 43 v 3 at 1000 yards (from a maximum 50 v 10), achieving the top long range score overall of 187 v 10. Jason being an incredible wind reader no doubt came in handy when shooting in these conditions.
Overall achieving 4th place in the individuals – the highest out of the U25 GB squad, led to Jason subsequently being picked for the U25 Team World Championship match that took place on Sunday 3rd February in Trentham, NZ. After gaining a significant amount of ground on the leading Australian team, at only 3 points behind at 1000 yards with only 2 shooters left, Jason and his team finished a respectable 10 points behind, scoring 965.87 out of a possible 1000.200, coming second place in the U25 World Championships overall.
Throughout all of these amazing achievements, people close to Jason will know that despite being a world-class shooter and an incredible wind coach, surpassing heights any experienced shooter his age would, he remains incredibly humble about his achievements and down to earth. The Exeter University Rifle Club congratulate him on all of his successes to date and on his achievements in the World Championships, and can’t wait to see where he goes from here in his shooting career.
Success! After minor logistical difficulties, the weekend finally came together! I think we can all agree we had a fantastic fullbore experience. Shoutout to Tom Hill, our fullbore captain, for conducting an overall very enjoyable weekend. The coaching, the socials, the fun guns…Thank you Tom for your terrific organisation – it has not gone unnoticed!
Us at the EURC would like to give a special HUGE thank you to Richard Stebbings at the BYSA for all his hard work helping us through our weekend and especially for his extremely generous kit donation. Stebbings, you recognised our club’s growing numbers and have contributed greatly to the accommodation of all our keen, new shooters. You new kit will also greatly improve access for left handed shooters and marksmen of smaller stature, meaning that our club can welcome even more shooters! Thank you so much.
Quotes from participants on the weekend:
Alex Spensley, 2nd year EURC member – “My highlight was definitely the fun guns, having missed them last year it was great to shoot something other than a target rifle! I would also like to thank Stebbings for his generosity with kit and lending us rifles for the weekend.”
Eleanor Graham, 1st year EURC member – “I always love going to Bisley, which like always was its own brand of charming (found somewhere between the early early morning starts and the smell of cordite on Century). It was a fantastic way to spend time with the team, and meeting members who had already graduated really put into perspective the legacy of shooters I’m now at the end of. It was a fantastic trip, and I’ll always look on it fondly as my first EURC Bisley – I’ll be sure to remember my anti-icing kit next time though!”
Jackie Chan, 3rd year EURC Committee – “Being in my third year and still being able to have an opportunity to travel with the Rifle Club has made my university life very exciting!”
This freshers’ week we are running a taster session competition with the chance of winning a £25 Amazon voucher or a Timepiece Gold Card – your choice! These prizes are only available to new prospective members – no committee or returning members can enter but by all means come along and shoot any way! In order to claim your prize you will need to purchase a full or termly membership.
When you arrive you’ll shoot the first round of the competition- five shots, and the smaller your grouping the better! You can shoot the second round when you join the club (around the 6th of October), and the smallest group size, on average, wins!
On Wednesday, 23rd May 2018, six members of our Committee attended the University’s AU Awards Ceremony at Reed Hall. Harry Percival, Olivia Haworth, Stephanie Chanter, Joel Burton-Lowe and Xavier Iafrate received Club Awards, while Jason Pepera-Hibbert (who was unable to attend due to training commitments) was awarded Club Colours. We are extremely proud that the Rifle Club was invited to the ceremony and it was an honour to represent the Club amongst some of Exeter’s top athletes.
We held our 2018 Annual General Meeting on Thursday, 15th March. The meeting was well-attended; it was great to see so many of our members taking an interest in the running of the Club and to have some friendly competition in the elections!
The AGM opened with a brief review of the year so far, and updates on some of the exciting new purchases the Club has made for the benefit of our members. We also outlined some of the changes that are taking place in the club, including our exciting move to Fonthill!
The final part of the meeting was the elections for next year’s Committee. Thank you to everyone who ran for a role – the speeches and manifestos delivered by everyone were full of interesting and carefully-considered ways to improve the club and it was encouraging to see how much thought had been put into them.
We are delighted to announce that the new Committee, to take over in July, will be as follows:
Captain: Nataša Pasternak
General Secretary: Steph Chanter
Treasurer: James Mac Taggart
Senior Advisor: Jason Pepera-Hibbert
Smallbore Captain: Danny Lay
Fullbore Captain: Tom Hill
Armourer: Alistair Sanford
Social Secretaries/Welfare: Louisa Collier & Chan Ka Chun Jackie
Publicity Secretary: Lulu Randall
Competitions Officer: Tom Blackburn
Range Officer: Ed Norman
Thanks again to everyone who attended last night and we look forward to another successful year.
On Friday, 16th February 2018, our BUCS A Team travelled to Chesterfield in advance of the much-anticipated BUCS Finals weekend. The team consisted of both Committee and new members: Club Captain, Harry Percival; General Secretary, Xav Iafrate; Fullbore Captain, Jason Pepera-Hibbert; Smallbore Captain and Publicity Officer, Liv Haworth; Ed Norman; and Danny Lay. Our team would be competing in the BUCS Smallbore Shortrange Team Finals on the Saturday, and Liv would be competing in the Individuals Finals on the Sunday.
We rose early on the Saturday morning and arrived at Staveley Rifle and Pistol Club in plenty of time to sign in, collect our targets, set up the rifles and prepare ourselves for the day ahead. We would each be shooting two rounds of two consecutive cards during the course of the day, with a strict time limit of ten minutes per card.
Up first at 09:30 was Jason, who scored a respectable 95 on each of his Round 1 cards. After Jason, at 10:00, Ed shot a 91 in his first card and a 97 in his second card. Next up, after a detail’s break, was Xav, who scored a 90 followed by a 93. In the fifth detail of the day, at 11:30, Liv shot a 92, then a 90. She was followed by Danny, who scored an impressive 97 and 98. To conclude Round 1, Harry scored a 91 and a 93 on his first two cards.
As we prepared for Round 2, we were more familiar with the range and more comfortable with the atmosphere of a six-lane, shoulder-to-shoulder match and prepared to improve our scores from the previous detail. The team worked well together, ensuring that everyone was helped with their equipment and changing targets, and offering moral support throughout the day.
The afternoon saw an improvement in scores for most of the team. Jason scored 91 and 97; Ed 91 and 93; Xav 95 and 97; Liv 96 and 95 (despite having to leave the range between cards to find an Allen key!); Danny 96 and 98; and Harry, who rounded off the day with a pleasing 95 and 97.
Pleased with our Round 2 scores, we packed up the rifles and our kit and awaited the results. With a total of 2264, we placed 5th – just 1 point behind 4th! Imperial took 3rd place, Edinburgh took 2nd, and Cambridge placed 1st overall. In the evening, we headed out for the customary EURC Nando’s and reflected on how the competition had gone.
On Sunday morning, we enjoyed a more relaxed start as Liv’s first detail was at 12 noon. We went for breakfast, then returned to the hotel to pack up and check out. Arriving at the range at 11:00, we unloaded the kit, set the rifle up and collected the targets. In Round 1, Liv scored 85 and 94, having had trouble with the sights on the first card. Round 2 was also the final detail of the day at 15:00, in which she shot a 94 followed by a 91.
After the final detail, we packed up and drove the 240 miles back to Exeter, arriving at around 20:00 to unpack the kit and return the minibus.
The BUCS Smallbore Shortrange Finals were the culmination of several months of postal cards, training, and preparation by all of our teams. We are very proud everyone who has represented the Club over the past few months and look forward to our next event!
We also extend our thanks to the Exeter University Athletics Union, who have helped us with entering the teams and has supported us with arrangements for the Finals; to the organisers at the NSRA and BUCS for arranging the competition; and to Staveley Rifle and Pistol Club for hosting the Finals at the weekend.
On Friday, 3rd November, 35 of our members, including Committee and alumni, ventured up to the National Shooting Centre at Bisley for a weekend of fullbore shooting organised by our Fullbore Captain, Jason Pepera-Hibbert. Our trip coincided with the BYSA’s “Bonfire Bonanza” weekend, which meant we were introduced to other university rifle clubs and young shooters. Friday night saw us settling into our accommodation at the Inns of Court and Bunhill Lodge, and socialising with the other shooters.
We rose early on Saturday in order to be set up for our first detail on Century Range at 08:30. Once set up at 300yds, the details ran smoothly with Committee taking turns to coach and a rota in place for butt marking until 12.30, when the klaxon sounded for lunchtime. After lunch, we continued to shoot at 300yds until the klaxon sounded again at 16:00. By the end of the day, all of our fullbore novices had had a shoot (or three!) and tried their hand at marking the targets. Despite the rain, an enjoyable day on the range was had by all.
In the evening, we exchanged our waterproofs and woolly hats for something a little smarter and headed to the Inns of Court for dinner and the BYSA’s social.
We had another early start on Sunday morning to ensure we were set up on the firing point by 08:30. Our novice shooters then had the opportunity to develop their skills at 600yds and learn about the alterations made to the sights and foresight elements when shooting at different distances. We were very fortunate to be joined by alumnus and GB U25 shooter Liam Cheek, who assisted us with coaching and shared plenty of useful tips! When the klaxon sounded for lunchtime, we headed inside out of the cold, packed our bags and cleaned up our accommodation, before making our way back out to Century for the afternoon.
Sunday afternoon, in keeping with tradition, was dedicated to shooting “fun guns” at 300yds. Our Armourer, Dan Studholme, kindly allowed us to use his Lee Enfield no4(T) and was delighted (and trying hard to hide his astonishment) when he managed to score a V-bull with it! A TR with a scope (which was not a favourite with our Treasurer, Joel, who learnt the importance of maintaining distance between the eye and the scope the hard way) and an Accuracy International Arctic Warfare were also provided for us to try. The smallest grouping was by our Assistant Armourer, James Mac-Taggart, with his five shots on the TR falling within half a V-bull.
At the sound of the final klaxon of the weekend, we cleared up the firing point and arranged ourselves for the annual November Bisley group photo. A beautiful sunset over the range was tinged with sadness as we packed up the vans and left Bisley Camp. Joel’s Bisley playlist cheered us up as we drove back to Exeter (via KFC, of course) and started counting down the days until Easter Bisley.
Check out more of our photos on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @uoerifleclub.
Welcome to our new members! It was fantastic to see so many of you at the Freshers’ Fair yesterday and we can’t wait to get stuck into training next week.
Our Committee has had an incredibly busy Freshers’ Week. We spent Monday and Tuesday promoting the Rifle Club on Campus, handing out flyers and talking to new and returning students about what we do. Wednesday and Thursday were dedicated to our Taster Sessions and barbecue – over 150 students came and had a shoot over the two day period! Thursday evening saw the first social of the year, with a ‘Meet and Greet’ evening at The Monkey Suit. The culmination of the week was Saturday’s Freshers’ Fair, where we took over 100 sign-ups for memberships. We are delighted with how the week has panned out, and are very excited to welcome our new members into the club.
For those new members who are yet to connect with us on our social media channels, we’d like to invite you to ‘like’ our Facebook page and join the ‘EURC Socials’ group so that everyone knows what’s going on and when! We’d also encourage everyone to follow us on Instagram and Twitter (@UoERifleClub) – who knows, you might be featured in one of our posts!
If you didn’t make it to the Freshers’ Fair and want to join EURC, come along to training next week to sign up. As usual, we will be training on Thursday, Friday and Saturday between 6pm and 9pm.
Welcome again to our new and returning members; we wish you the best of luck with the start of term!