Shooting is not a sport which is well known at Merchiston, but it is one which, like many others, we excel at. Many boys have no idea that we have a small 25-yard range within the campus of the School. Under the guidance of Major Ewing, the team trains every Thursday. Major Ewing teaches us the necessary skills, techniques and most importantly, safety. On Tuesdays, the more experienced shooters lie down next to the less advanced shooters to give them one to one coaching while they are going through the processes. This does not only benefit the beginners, but it helps the more advanced shooters as it allows for a greater understanding of the technique.
There is an opportunity to shoot in postal competitions. Many boys have been selected to shoot at the county level, in the Junior Inter-County Prone League. Taking part in these competitions means boys are then in a very good position to be selected for the Junior Scotland Development Squad. This gives us access to a higher level of coaching and an opportunity to try out other disciplines, such as 10m Standing Air Rifle. Boys who shoot well in the indoor competitions may qualify for the Scottish Schools teams.
Some boys also chose to compete in the GP Series run by Scottish Target Shooting. These competitions are at 50m and outdoors, providing a greater challenge as there is a requirement to focus more on taking good shots and take into account the effect of the wind on the bullet. These competitions also allow the boys to compete against a much higher level of competition.
"Ever since I joined Merchiston and in-fact even before I joined, I have always gone to the shooting range. Starting at the age of 10, I have always had a passion for the sport; over the years, I have learnt more and more. It feels incredible that I have started to progress to the national level now and compete at such high standards. I must say thank you to Major Ewing for his commitment and enthusiasm towards the sport and us. Major Ewing has helped me develop my skills in the range and come in on his off days to transport me plus rifles to out of school training as well as the most recent Scottish Schools’ competition, as I am part of the Scotland U21 development squad. I would encourage any boy to try out shooting as it can lead to many paths and a lot of fun."
“Merchiston has, over the previous five years, had a minimum of one boy represent his country in target shooting. The 2020 selection of three Merchiston boys to represent Scottish Schools against other home nations is a credit to the self-discipline, motivation and collective team cohesion in training of all the boys that shoot in our indoor Miller Range. The achievement of these boys and the others who narrowly missed the cut will have a positive impact on target shooting at Merchiston.”
- Alan Ewing, Maj, Contingent Commander