Interview: Dean Leak

British Shooting’s Talent Pathway manager is working with the UK’s up-and-coming shooting talent

What is your position in British Shooting?
My role is twofold. I am responsible for the British Shooting Academy Programme. This is a UK Sport-funded programme which recruits and supports athletes who have been identified as having potential to produce world-leading sporting performance within four to eight years across Rifle, Pistol and Shotgun. My second role is to build a talent system that allows us to develop greater depth of potential – both athletes and coaches, across Olympic and Paralympic events.

What are your objectives?
My objectives are varied, but simply speaking my purpose is to identify, recruit and develop athletes and coaches in all Olympic and Paralympic disciplines. My job is to feed the World Class Programme with high-quality athletes who have the potential to win medals at the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Are you and the athletes meeting them?
We now have over 200 shooters in the Talent Pathway, and over 30 coaches who we support to ensure we provide the best service possible for our shooters. The World Class Programme selection panel has very difficult decisions to make, and this is a positive sign that the quality of athletes progressing through the pathway is improving steadily.

How do you see the Talent Pathway developing in the future?
We are looking to expand the number of British Shooting Schools (formerly called Emerging Potential) in the UK so we can provide more opportunities for shooters. This will allow us to have an increasing talent pool with access to high-quality coaching. Most importantly, we are increasingly supporting our coaches to provide high-quality learning environments.

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