‘Where can I do clay pigeon shooting?’ was a question asked by Steve, a 49-year-old fireman from the West Midlands, who has been reading Adrenamag’s articles on clay pigeon shooting. Steve, who has always wanted to shoot clays, and would like to organise a day’s shooting to celebrate his 50th birthday, also asked: ‘What simple tips can you give me about clay pigeon shooting. And should I have lessons before we go?’
Adrenamag took these queries to Tom, a 25-year veteran in teaching novices to shoot on stag-parties and corporate days out. Tom said: ‘I always say to people have a go at clay pigeon shooting – after all that’s the best lesson there is. Get the feel of the sport and see if you like it.’
‘Do you need a shot gun licence to shoot clays?’ Steve asked. ‘No,’ said Tom. ‘If you buy a gun and shoot regularly, then you will need one, but you will not need a licence for a day’s shoot.’
Tom’s tip for better clay pigeon shooting
1. Listen to advice. Very basic, but we get a lot of guys – and it is guys – in stag parties who just want to blast off. Take the time out to listen and you will be a better shot.
2. Keep an eye open. Find out which is your dominant eye – your instructor will help with this.
3. Put your whole body into it. The skill of shooting is moving smoothly – not snatching. This means moving your whole body.
4. Line up the clay. Watch the line of the clay – or bird as we say here – see how high it is above the trees, etc. That way you can track the line of flight.
5. Calm down. Shooting is about lowering the pulse and being clinical.
Karting is a great sport for kids. Says who? Lewis Hamilton, Michael Schumacher and Jenson Button, to name a few junior karters. No wonder then that junior go karting is buzzing with would-be F1 champions and junior thrill seekers.
So how do you get motoring into the sport? Well, one of the reason’s that go kart racing is booming is that there’s so few barriers to entry, according to Chris Pullman, senior operations consultant at the track in Kent where both former F1 world champions Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button first got to grips with racing.
‘Racers as young as four are welcome,’ he says. ‘Obviously, we don’t stick them on the petrol karts but they can ride on our electric karts around our Kids Mini GP Circuit and they love it.
‘Then from six onwards, youngsters can get involved in the Bambino School. This prepares them for the faster karts by teaching them important skills such as pedal control, steering, control of the kart and safety awareness.
‘Traditionally, the earliest children could start racing was at eight. But, as they mature quicker these days, we feel there is a great opportunity for them to learn the basics of driving to prepare them for full racing at eight years of age.’ To race competitively in the UK, eight is the age to be but with the continued success of British drivers in the F1 championship, it’s understandable why kids from as young as four are keen to get behind the wheel.
If you want to spin around some karting circuits for your kids. Or even for yourself, click here.
Is there no limit to the reach of zorbs? (Large plastic things with people rolling about inside, for those who didn’t know.) US singer Pink arrived at a festival and zorbed her way to the stage in a zorb, couples are even getting married in zorbs. No wonder zorbing gift vouchers for zorbs are proving so popular.
One in three UK workers is too shy to get sweaty in front of colleagues according to a British Heart Foundation (BHF) survey. The BHF study, which looked at UK workplace exercise trends, revealed that over half of UK workers are desk-bound for most of the day with nearly 50 per cent eating lunch at their desks. According to the findings 81 per cent of UK workers fail to get the recommended amount of exercise a week.
With the UK government predicting that 36 per cent of men and 28 per cent of woman will be obese in five years, what’s the answer? The BHF survey suggests the workplace is the perfect location for keeping fit and active, with half of UK workers admitting they won’t travel more than 10 minutes from work or home to exercise.
Lisa Purcell, project manager for the BHF’s Health at Work Programme says: ‘Embarrassment shouldn’t prevent people from being healthy at work. You don’t have to don a lycra leotard to get fit and healthy, the payoffs from even simple changes like taking a walk at lunchtime are too great to ignore. Getting healthy during the working day means you are less stressed and better motivated.
‘Bosses need to understand there’s a massive return on investment here. Simple measures to improve the health of your workforce – like swapping tea-break biscuits for fruit, or getting the team together for a lunchtime kickaround in the car park – canimprove productivity, reduce staff turnover, and mean fewer sick days.
‘We are calling on businesses to take their employee’s health and wellbeing seriously, and start reaping the rewards,’ she said.
The BHF Health at Work programme, sponsored by Legal & General, has already signed up more than 800 organisations. Employees from bin men to bank tellers are finding there’s no need for blushes when they’re all in it together.
Claire Young has lost four stone since appearing on the BBC’s Apprentice. She says: ‘All companies need a fit workforce – a healthy mind is a productive mind. The more employers look after their staff, the better they will perform. It’s a great way to ensure a happier and healthier workplace.’
Five corporate sporting events for shy employees
1. Paintball. No need to worry about getting sweaty in front of work colleagues when playing paintball: the protective clothing will hide your blushes and save your face. If you want to fire your work colleagues into action, click here.
2. Karting. Karting is another sport where the more retiring office worker can hide behind the crash helmet and the overalls. Put your foot down and get your colleagues away from the desk for some exercise. It may be sitting down, but the blood is pumping. More and more offices have having their Christmas parties on the track. Check it out here
3. Clay pigeon shooting. Here’s a sport that’s more swanky than sweaty. Green wellies, tweeds, picnics, oh and there’s also the shooting. Clay pigeon shooting is the perfect mix of social and sporting for lots of work colleagues. Take a shot at it, click here.
4. Segway. Segway racing is a popular corporate event that doesn’t have to embarrass anyone. With the average British office worker spending so much time chained to their desks, a whirl in the countryside maybe just be what the doctor ordered. To take a ride, click here.
5. High Ropes. Tree walking is a corporate sporting event that is rising in popularity. And just like Tarzan and Jane, it is possible to still look cool, although the loin cloth is optional. To book, click here.
Five intrepid kite surfers braved the Irish Sea for a marathon 9-hour journey from Cloghy in Northern Ireland to Silloth, West Beach in Cumbria. The five kitesurfing enthusiasts – Fraser Dooley, Martin Sandwith, Stuart Wood, Nick Elliott and John Flynn – withstood the rigours of the Irish Sea to become the first people to kite surf from Ireland to England.
The team celebrating becoming the first people to kitesurf across the Irish Sea
Bad weather in the summer of 2009 meant a previous attempt to do the crossing had to be abandoned. In 2008 the kitesurfing friends set a record by surfing the 30 miles from the Isle of Man to Ireland. But the 110-mile crossing of the Irish was not a record. Professional kite surfer Kirsty Jones was the first to kite from Ireland to Wales and she holds the current record of 149 miles when she kited non-stop from Africa to Lanzarote. The Cumbrian kite surfers raised money for three charities – the RNLI, NSPCC and the Maryport Inshore Rescue.
Branson’s birthday kitesurf
Sir Richard Branson, who counts kitesurfing as one of his favourite sports, celebrated his 60th birthday with an attempt to kitesurf across the English Channel, along with five-time world champion Aaron Hadlow and Laird Hamilton. However, strong winds and choppy seas across the channel meant the billionaire businessman’s birthday attempt to become the oldest man to kite surf the channel had to be abandoned.
If you haven’t tried kitesurfing and want to dip your toe in the water, click here