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Old 25th September 2010, 09:11 AM
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RobF RobF is offline
My Empire of Dirt
Join Date: Mar 2010
Member of: Southampton Buccaneers, Parkstone, South Dorset
Location: Poole, Dorset
Posts: 10,164

I think this is born out of FT spreading it's wings beyond it's birth place which is the UK.

The British FTA is the owner of the competition title of the BFTA European Championships. In the outset, it was really just another comp, with the added flavouring of English, Irish, Scottish and Welsh shooters in attendance. At that time, that's all there was really in the game. Now we have the added seasoning of visitors from many other countries, and the sport spreading.

In essense, I can't see the event moving, as it's always held at the Midland Game Fair for good reasons, and the BFTA hold ownership of the event, and being British based, I can't see that changing.

However, it's been mooted here about a European League... and perhaps a European FTA could be setup that would host a more international event which could move around, and perhaps be at a different time of the year? I think a league is probably too much for many competitors to follow and attend, but perhaps there is room for a much earlier event in Europe. With the worlds moving around, there may be quite a few who for one reason or another can't make the worlds, but perhaps could make a closer event.

You've also got events like the Nefta Classic and the Euskadi Open which are also gaining international flavouring.

However, i think to do it properly, there needs to be a strong association formed to handle it well.

It's nice to see though that there is plenty of enthusiasm for future ideas. One thing about FT is that it's constantly evolving... the sport as it was 20 years ago is different today in many respects, but I suspect the core ethos isn't, otherwise I would suspect those shooters who were there in the early days wouldn't still be around.

It will be packed next year, if it's the same weekends then the worlds will be one weekend before the Euros. But hey, perhaps a few will do italy, then jump across to the UK and have a two week blowout FT holiday.

Goal for me for sometime next year is to try and nail getting airguns across Europe without the need for an EFP. If that can be nailed, then I can see the sport really opening up in Europe further. It really is on our doorstep, Western Europe is just a day or so away in the car, and has so much to offer for the traveller and shooter, so I can see a combination of both working.

If you look at other sports, they've all crossed this bridge one way or another and formed a structure from the World level, down through continental, country, county, etc... each sport has had a different way of doing it, but it can be done. Just takes time and effort. Lets not forget, we're barely into the 3rd decade of FT's existance... a lot of sports that have gone international have been around for many times that.
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