Small-bore target rifle shooting has long been a popular activity at the College and, every year, a small number of Marlburians show sufficient promise to progress to full-bore shooting in which the College enjoys much success at national level. Several Marlburians have also shot for UK and GB teams in Canada and South Africa during their time here, and there is a very active Old Marlburian Rifle Club, many of whose members regularly compete at international level.
Around 60 boys and girls from all year groups shoot small-bore each week; up to sixteen shoot full-bore in the summer. All benefit from the expert tuition of Welsh Commonwealth Games shooting coach, Martin Watkins.
In the Michaelmas and Lent Terms, the teams make use of the College’s own six-lane twenty-five yard indoor small-bore (.22) rifle range. This was completely rebuilt in 2004 with state-of-the-art heating, ventilation and lighting systems, making it one of the best in the country. We also visit the 50m small-bore ranges at Patterdown and Bisley.
In the Summer we travel to nearby Bulford Ranges and the National Shooting Centre in Bisley, Surrey, to shoot full-bore (7.62mm). The College owns a number of small-bore and full-bore rifles and has recently invested in a SCATT computerised training system (as used by the GB team).
The small-bore VIII competes against schools such as Wellington, Cheltenham, Dauntsey’s and Abingdon, and against the Old Marlburians. Teams and individuals are also entered into the BSSRA Leagues, Individual Championships and International matches.
Marlborough’s full-bore VIII competes in all the major CCF and School competitions at Bisley, including the Schools Meeting at the beginning of the Summer holidays. Advanced shooters also compete in the Imperial Meeting.
Since 2004, three pupils have been selected for the UK Cadet Rifle team at full-bore, and the College VIII has consistently come in the top four in the national schools’ competition, the Ashburton.
Nicky Watts (Mistress in Charge)