She may only be 15, but Isabel’s already had success at both national and international level – and admits shooting has changed her life.
How did you start shooting – and was it pistol or rifle?
I went with my Dad to our local shooting club, Aldingbourne Target Shooting Club, to try out pistol shooting, but I soon switched to rifle once I had a go with one of the club’s Air Arms S200 rifles.
Has there been anyone who was influential in your shooting?
My coach, John Saint. He is so supportive and we get on really well. Also Gorgs Geikie from British Shooting, who introduced me to Target Sprint. She gave me the confidence to have a go at something that I would not have normally considered, and it has changed my life.
When did you decide to take up 10m target shooting?
I started in 2016 with 10m Sporter rifle, becoming the British Sporter League champion in 2017. As I got more involved in shooting and learnt about the various disciplines, I started to focus my training around moving towards 10m Precision rifle, which I started in April this year.
What do you like about it?
There are so many aspects to it that I really enjoy! I love the feeling you get when you know you just released a good shot. I love the buzz you get from competing and the feeling of progression you get from training. I also love that I’ve made so many friends from around the world through shooting.
Are you going to be continuing to shoot Target Sprint?
Yes, definitely! I had such an amazing time with Target Sprint in the 2017/18 season, and was proud to bring home a bronze medal from the ISSF World Shooting Championships in Changwon, South Korea. I’ll definitely be continuing to compete whenever I can, alongside developing my 10m Precision rifle journey.
What rifles have you had and what do you now shoot?
I started with an Air Arms MPR S400 for Sporter, and for national series Target Sprint events. As I now only compete in the ISSF Target Sprint events, I use the Walther LG400 Target Sprint rifle. For my 10m Precision shooting, I have a Walther LG400 Competition rifle.
What is your practice and fitness regime?
I usually train at the range on my shooting at least twice a week. I also train with Worthing Harriers Athletic Club twice a week, and at home I have a core strength programme which I do most days.
There are also quite a few weekends away during the year at training camps. To be competitive at Target Sprint, you can’t just be a good shooter, you have to be a very strong runner, so keeping my fitness level high is really important.
How do you juggle the mix of studying and shooting?
I’ve been home educated since I was 10, so I’m used to fitting in my education around other activities. Being home educated has meant I can focus on the education that’s important to my chosen career path.
That way I can spend more time on shooting than I would if I was in mainstream education. Last year I started studying two days a week at Brinsbury College, which I’m really enjoying.
What have been the highlights of your career so far?
Definitely winning bronze at the ISSF World Shooting Championships in Changwon – such an amazing experience that I’ll never forget! I’ll also never forget my first Target Sprint gold medal, where I met the team from British Shooting for the first time.
And what are your aims for the future?
I want to compete at the highest level of shooting, and my ultimate goal would be to compete for Great Britain at an Olympic level.
What’s the biggest piece of advice you could give someone starting shooting?
Try everything at least once! I’ve tried so many different types of shooting, and it’s really helped me to focus on the disciplines that I enjoy the most.