Skeet Shooting

It was after a bad road traffic accident I began having spinal problems and whilst waiting for a bed to become available, so I could have an operation on my spine, I collapsed on the floor at home. When I came round on the ward I was told that my spinal cord had been partially severed. I was there for six months.

In the beginning, I lost my self-esteem and confidence. Staff from the non-specialist agency providing my care treated me like a bed-bound elderly person. This lasted for several years until I got the right personal assistant and we began to use the time more for my needs. My new assistant began taking me out and getting me to try new things.

This is when I discovered shooting and, at the age of 39 years, I can honestly say it has changed my life for the better. I began slowly coming out of my shell and talking and interacting with others at the shooting ground.

I needed to build myself up, so that I could hold the gun and be able to shoot for longer. It took more than just weightlifting; it made me look at the amount of medication I was taking and the food that I was eating. It has been trial and error in some ways, but at best it has been a big wakeup call. I have reduced the amount of medication I take each week and I eat a healthier diet with plenty of water to drink.

My stamina has improved tenfold. Now I can shoot several rounds of Skeet in a day. In Skeet shooting you have seven bays which you stand or sit in to shoot at two or four targets and then you have to travel back to bay one to start a new round. This may not sound much but I can assure you it requires a lot of strength. Shooting has improved my life so dramatically that I’d like others to see how much sport can improve theirs.

Now, I’m the first female Disabled Skeet Shooter in Great Britain and I am also learning a new discipline called DTL (Down the Line), which is going really well. I hope to enter the British Open in July of this year, but I need a sponsor!

My true goal is to shoot for my country in competitions around the world and even one day to enter the Paralympics shooting both disciplines.

Victoria Latcham L1-5
Victoria’s story was adapted from an article that appeared in the June 2014 issue of Forward magazine.