30 September 2019
Last weekend, eight KGS pupils took part in the annual CSAAMS shooting competition in Southport. Below KGS pupil, Cpl Emma Nuttall writes about their exciting, yet exhausting action packed weekend!
On Friday 22 September 2019, eight shooters accompanied by six range admin party members and three members of staff set off to the sunny coast of Southport, to take part in the annual CSAAMS shooting competition, which is a regional shooting competition for cadets, composed of 150 junior shooters from across the North West of England.
The two shooting teams and their company loaded the minibuses in a mad dash after the final bell and promptly made a beeline for Southport’s very own McDonald’s and KFC, the cadet’s ‘angelic’ singing voices entertaining the staff for the duration of the journey. After a fast food stop, where hunger was satisfied and thirst was quenched, it was finally time to endure the last push of the journey and arrive at camp to unload weapons, bergans, webbing, magazines, bags and more bags. Once admin was completed it was time for the cadets to undergo an intense test of speed, intelligence and endurance, a competition that raises tensions to the highest degree … it was time to play Uno! After a lot of disagreements and a quick briefing from the staff, it was time for the cadets to retire to their bunks to prepare and rest for the taxing weekend ahead.
Saturday morning greeted us with a scorching sun as temperatures rose well into the 20s. An early 6.45 am breakfast was soon followed with our first shoot of the day, where a 100 yard range was used for the cadets to fire off five rounds in order to zero the rifle’s sights to the shooter. With a money prize for the best shot, the shooters were challenged to shoot three rounds at a small white disk which unfortunately our cadets didn’t win.
The rest of the day consisted of: ‘Advance and reorg’ which included a 100m sprint, targets at 100m, 200m and 300m with the shooters shooting in both prone position (lying down) and standing up in a trench; ‘Advance to contact’ which had the shooters running between 300m, 200m and 100m from the target testing the cadet’s rifle drills under pressure and their ability to shoot after physical activity; ‘defence match’ where participants shoot at 300m while stationary, testing their precision.
Saturday night was one of Pizza Express, Tesco trips and high spirits as our cadets and teachers got a well-deserved break from the intensity of the competition, restoring us for the next day of hard work.
Not so bright and early Sunday morning we were treated to strong wind and even stronger rain, keeping the CSAAMS weather tradition alive. This final day tested our shooter’s ability to work in teams, starting with the ‘rifle pairs’ portion of the competition where cadets are expected to communicate and work together, however, it seems Lance Corporal Makenzie made more contact with the ground than his partner, as he fell face first within a matter of seconds in the initial sprint. The final and favourite round, known as the ‘falling plate shoot’, requires the teams of four shooters to run 100m, load and shoot ten plates (or as many as they can) within sixty seconds with a magazine of ten rounds each, the satisfying sound of a plate smashing being the best reward! Our competitors weren’t the only ones to have fun as our range admin party also got the opportunity to fire their first live rounds.
All the teams can hold their heads high with the results we achieved. Some of the teams in the competition practice for this all year round, so have a slight advantage. Our highest finishing position for an individual shoot was 6th overall out of 26 teams, a very credible effort that we aim to beat next year. After our exciting and exhausting weekend I think it’s safe to say the bus ride back was significantly quieter, much to the staff’s delight.
Cpl Emma Nuttall