Teenager Sam McGonigal has been named the UK’s number one in his hobby of clay target shooting.
Sam, 18, from Hatfield Woodhouse, has been rated the best in the country in the under 21s category by the Clay Pigeon Shooting Association (CPSA).
His dad David said: “I introduced him to clay target shooting when he was 13. We try not to call it clay pigeon shooting because it sounds like shooting animals – it is a term to try to avoid now.
“He seemed to have a flair for it and he has gone from strength to strength.
“I had my own shotgun and licence and did a bit of shooting, but Sam has quickly overtaken me.
“It’s a very difficult discipline. The main thing you need is very good concentration, and you need to be physically fit because it all happens so quickly when they release the target. You’re not allowed to have the gun up and ready to fire. You have to have it at your hip.”
Sam has been competing in competitions all over the UK. His next event is in Ireland, where he will compete with the England team. He will then head to Belgrade, in Serbia, to represent the UK in a Grand Prix.
He is due to compete in Belgrade again in September – to take part in the world championship. His dad says it is unlikely he will compete in the Olympics, as there is only one shooting place for Britain.
Sam’s shooting skills may come in useful when he leaves school, as he plans to join the Royal Marines.