Rest Day

Graham Nelson

There is no shooting on Sundays at the South African Championships and as a result the day is given up for rest, recovery and recharging of the batteries in whatever way squad members felt suited them best. A rare lie-in was top of the priority list for almost all this morning followed by a leisurely breakfast. There were some jobs to be completed during the day. Ammunition processing for the coming week, led by David Armstrong and Nick Tremlett, was completed in teams of 4, whilst the various food teams set off hunter-gathering in the team buses.

After this, some found time to check the pool temperature, others the quality of the local coffee shops whilst many of the squad, along with the England and the U25 teams, went to Peter Bramley’s farm where we were generously hosted for a lunchtime braai. Peter and Lexi provided a delicious spread of salads and sides, while an expert team of chefs cooked a mountain of meats to absolute perfection.

Meanwhile, there was the traditional archery competition for the Emma Cannings Trophy. Match conditions were one sighter and 4 arrows to count at a distance of 10yds. Many of us learned that an aptitude for one target sport does not translate to an aptitude for another, but three brits managed a maximum possible score, going on to tie shoot for the final. The eventual winner was Andy Daw of the England team who, after humbly accepting his trophy, admitted that his mother was an archery coach and he himself had in fact shot archery competitively for many years. Ringer!

Following prize giving Peter offered us a brief tour of his farm, which includes his own personal shooting range stretching back to 900m. Riding on the back of flat bed trucks, we were treated to some stunning views over the Free State planes.

Back at the hotel, minds started to focus back onto shooting. Three individual shoots at short range would be followed by a long-range team practice along side the SABU club match on Monday. Coaches met for a planning meeting and the captain drew up his target teams so they could start preparations in their smaller groups. Tomorrow awaits.