COMMONWEALTH GAMES: Aaron named in Team England shooting squad

Team England
Team England

Aaron Heading was today chosen in Team England’s shooting squad for the Commonwealth Games next year.

The 30-year-old from Long Sutton won gold and bronze in the Delhi 2010 event, plus silver at Glasgow 2014.

Heading is one of 11 out of 20 athletes on the team who have Commonwealth Games experience, with 21 medals between them.

Team England selected the rifle, pistol, shotgun and full bore shooters to compete at the Belmont Shooting Centre in Brisbane, Australia, from April 8 to 14.

The official announcement was made this morning, although Heading’s performances in a series of events had given the selectors “no choice”.

He said: “We’ve had a test event in Australia and there were a number of qualifiers throughout the year where I had finished first or runner-up.

Aaron Heading

Aaron Heading

“So I was clear at the top of the rankings in a great year.

“I’m very lucky to be going to the Commonwealth Games for the third time.

“I feel absolutely over the moon.

“I’ll work hard in training over the winter and then see what happens next.

I’m very lucky to be going to the Commonwealth Games for the third time. I feel absolutely over the moon.

Aaron Heading

“We’ll have competitions to get ready before a training camp – but I’m also getting married in February so this is a very busy time!”

Two years ago, Heading opened the Priory Clay Target Centre in Sutton Bridge.

Team England will send around 600 athletes and staff in the largest-ever team to represent the nation in an overseas sporting event. The team will compete in 18 sports, including 38 para medal events.

Sarah Winckless, Chef de Mission for Commonwealth Games England, said: “We’re incredibly proud to be announcing such a strong shooting team for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.

“We’re putting forward some of the best shooters in the world and we’re confident that we will be sending the most prepared English team to Australia next April.

“We look forward to the high-level of competition the Commonwealth Games will provide and with our excellent team of staff focussing their efforts to ensure that when we get out there, Team England will have everything set up for a world-class performance environment.”

Shooting brings together accuracy, speed and consistency with the distances on the Gold Coast varying from 10m to almost 1km. Alongside individual action, Team England’s men and women will shoot side by side in the Queen’s Prize Individual and the Queen’s Prize Pairs.

Team England shooting team leader Christian Schofield said: “We’re very excited to be taking part in the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast next year. The team members have come through a tough selection process and thoroughly deserve their place in what looks to be a very capable shooting team.

“We will now begin the hard work of training for the Games in the hope of making everyone in England proud of our endeavours. Congratulations to those athletes selected and thank you to you and your coaches for the hard work and commitment getting to this stage.”

As part of its plans to send the best prepared team to the Gold Coast, Commonwealth Games England will hold a 10-day preparation camp in Brisbane, create a dedicated performance centre inside the Commonwealth Games Village, and offer a full programme of support services.

Team England’s preparation camp for the Gold Coast will include a number of specially selected high-performance sports and support facilities that will enable athletes to continue training and complete their final preparations prior to entering the Commonwealth Games Village.

The dedicated performance centre will be at the heart of Team England’s headquarters inside the Commonwealth Games Village. It will provide an enhanced environment in the Village for athletes, coaches and support staff, where the team will have access to dedicated doctors, physios and a full range of clinical, rehabilitation, preparation services, kit, equipment, stretching and R&R areas.