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 a 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 80 boys and girls from all year groups shoot small-bore each week; up to 16 shoot full-bore at Bisley in the summer. All benefit from the expert tuition of Welsh Commonwealth Games shooting coach Martin Watkins.

Nicky Watts

Head of Shooting

The team and other pupils make use of the College’s own six-lane 25-yard indoor small-bore (.22) rifle range. This was completely rebuilt in 2003 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 Term, we travel to the National Shooting Centre in Bisley, Surrey, to shoot full-bore (7.62mm). The team do a pre-season training weekend at the end of the Lent Term.

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). We have also introduced air rifle and air pistol shooting.

The small-bore VIII competes against schools such as Wellington, Dauntsey and Wycliffe, and against the Old Marlburians. Teams and individuals are also entered into the BSSRA Postal Leagues, the 50m English Schools and the British Open competitions at Bisley.

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.

Pupils have been selected for the UK U18 Cadet Rifle team, the U19 GB Rifle team and the U25 GB training squad at full-bore. The College VIII consistently performs well and in 2019 won the Ashburton Fours competition.

Welsh Commonwealth Games shooting coach Martin Watkins.