Smallbore shooting in our range in Oxford.
Team Target rifle on Century Range at Bisley.
Match Rifle on Stickledown range at Bisley.
An OURC member in a half-blue jacket next to the Elcho shield for the winners of the MR Home Countries competition.
What do we do?
OURC competes in three shooting disciplines throughout the year. In Michaelmas Term we compete in the smallbore (indoor) discipline, with a focus on teaching and coaching in preparation for competitions later in the year.
In Hilary term we continue to shoot smallbore, culminating with the smallbore Varisty matches against Cambridge, the Heslop (mixed), Bentata (Ladies) and Kensington (Second Team). We also start preparing for the fullbore (outdoor) season, which kicks off with a week-long training camp during the Easter vacation at Bisley – the home of the National Rifle Association and shooting in England. Here, those of us who are new learn the intricacies of both the Target Rifle and Match Rifle disciplines whilst the old hands buckle down and do some serious training for the coming fullbore season.
Trinity term involves less practice than the previous two terms, as it is not possible to shoot fullbore in Oxford. However, this term is filled with matches against various other clubs, and culminates with the Imperial Meeting at the beginning of the Long (Summer) Vacation.
The Imperial Meeting is the highlight of the shooting year, with OURC spending a week (or two if you shoot Match Rifle as well) in Bisley with hundreds of other shooters from across the world. Competitions take place every day, both individual and team. Some of the main events for the team include the Humphrey and the Chancellors’ (MR and TR varsities) and the Universities Long Range against a selection of other UK universities.
How does the club work?
Within the club there is a Blues’ Team of 8 shooters (mixed) for each of the smallbore and fullbore disciplines. The Blues’ Team also has a reserve of 4 shooters, making a complete Squad of 12. There is also a university second team. For smallbore a separate female-only squad of 4 is selected for the Bentata match, also against Cambridge.
The more prominent club committee members are the President (who is also the Blues’ Team Captain), the Secretary, the Treasurer and the Match Rifle Captain (who is the Match Rifle Blues’ Team Captain). However, the entire committee strives towards a smooth running of the club and are also responsible for conducting training sessions for the teams and new members.
There are a couple of training sessions during the week for all shooters as well as separate sessions for the Blues’ Squad and a Development Squad. Our training sessions take place at the Summer Fields School Range on Mayfield Road in Summertown. It’s a 5 minute bus journey, or a 20 minute walk from the centre of Oxford.
Most members join the club at the start of Michaelmas every year, allowing them to take part in the full training programme of the club, and to attend the Annual Dinner which is usually held in late November. The Annual General Meeting, when the committee for the next year are elected, is held in Trinity Term.
Who is involved?
Students from across the university in any year can join, including postgraduates and mature students. The team members come from a wide range of backgrounds, countries and colleges. You need not have any shooting experience at all before you join – indeed, a good proportion of the Blues’ Squad often consists of members who have never shot before joining the university.
What's it like?
OURC is a tight-knit, friendly and welcoming group of students who spend a lot of time socialising and shooting together. We are very welcoming to new members and strive to get to know them early on in term. Successful teams are not just built out of talented shooters – the team must have a trusting and friendly atmosphere to operate well. OURC is certainly a sort of ‘shooting family’, in which much emphasis is not only placed upon training and shooting, but socialising and having fun as well.