The lack of youngsters in both F.T. and H.F.T. is absolutely staggering ,i shot the Nefta hunter at Ponty a few weeks ago with my lad, now bearing in mind this was our first comp for over 4 years the fact is that in the first round my lad was the youngest out there by some considerable margin he is .........20yrs old.
Not that many years ago this format was attracting junior entries in double figures.
What went wrong ? Is the equipment too expensive ? are the courses too challenging ? have the anti-gun lobby got to them ?
What ever the reason it needs addressing as a matter of urgency otherwise the sport along with all its supporting factors ,shooting grounds , shops ,suppliers etc are going to suffer and close down.
On a purely personal level i think a combination of the above factors are largely responsible for the general reduction in junior / new shooters coming into the sport.
A return to a less challenging competition series ,i.e. Nefta hunter would allow junior / new shooters to compete and get an insight into the sport without worrying about the expense of top line equipment and their own ability to get a respectable score this along with a sensible degree of on course coaching from more experienced shooters would go some way to encouraging new blood.
As i said earlier this is my own opinion on the matter ,but the fact that this topic has generated such a response suggests that i'm not the only one with these concerns.
By all means set courses for "A" and "AA"shooters but there is a down side to this.