Kath Bright has become the first woman winner of the IW Down The Line Championship. Picture by Robin Crossley.
AFTER a 22-year absence from the sport, clay pigeon shooter Kath Bright has achieved an IW first.
Kath, of East Cowes but originally from North Yorkshire, has become the first female IW clay pigeon-shooting champion, after winning the Down The Line competition at Sainham a fortnight ago.
And this weekend she hopes to complete an unprecedented double, by winning the IW Single-barrel Championship as well.
Kath, 41, who works at the Earl Mountbatten Hospice’s retail warehouse, took up shooting at the age of 12, and quickly became a star, winning championships at regional and national level and even becoming a reserve for the England team.
But when she set up her own falconry business, the competitions took a back seat and eventually she gave the sport up.
It wasn’t until she suffered knee injuries last year that prevented her from running and cycling, and seeing the IW’s success at the NatWest Island Games, that she decided to re-apply for a shotgun licence and rekindle her love for the sport.
"I saw the results at the Island Games and thought 'I can do that’," she said. "So I started shooting again in January and I am hoping that I can get good enough scores to qualify for Bermuda next year. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."
Kath’s score at the IW Championships certainly raised eyebrows. The best score you can achieve is 100/300, meaning all 100 targets are hit with the first shot.
Kath won the title with 95/275.
"They said I was the first woman to win the title, so that was quite good," she said. "I am definitely going for the double. I am quite competitive and I have been to a couple of Olympic selection shoots already. It’s far too late for me to qualify for this year’s games but there’s always Rio in four years time. You’ve got to aim high!"