A budding shooter needing thousands of pounds to fund his place on a Great Britain tour has been told never to lose sight of his dream by an Olympic hero.
Somerton’s Nathan Boyle has been included in the GB under-19s full-bore target shooting squad scheduled to visit South Africa next near. However, the 17-year-old who has toured Canada and Jersey with the Army cadets has to find £3,000 himself to accept the invite.
London 2012 Double Trap gold medallist Peter Wilson of Glanvilles is no stranger to funding issues, working part-time in his local pub when his grants were suddenly cut in the wake of Beijing 2008.
Although acknowledging that his discipline differed greatly from Boyle’s, Wilson said the teenager who also plays rugby for Somerton must show similar determination in order to realise his potential.
He said: “It so difficult in this economic climate when people are looking to tighten their belts. Never give up because there is this ultimate glory hanging over you where you could win that competition. The full bore isn’t in the Olympics but there will the world championships and the ultimate competition that he wants to win and be the best he possibly can be.
“I found that nobody was ever prepared to help as and when I needed it. At the end of the day it is down to you as an individual and if you really believe in yourself, believing that you can do the business you will find a way. I had to go and work in pub and do loads of fencing for different people.
“I was doing loads of different jobs for different people just to make sure the money kept coming in. It’s very difficult but if anything it will make you realise just how much you want it.”
Boyle has been a member of the Somerset Army Cadet Force for five years and has been actively involved in rifle shooting for the last three after first being introduced to the pursuit by his step-father.
He said: “I did the cadets tours and was then invited to the selection weekend at Bisley, Surrey, on the back of my scores at big competitions. They invited me to the selection processes where I got through. Usually the cadets pay for everything but I now have to pay for this trip myself.”
A spokesman for Somerton RFC added: “Everyone involved in Somerton rugby club are absolutely thrilled that Nathan has secured his place in the team. Nathan is testament to the wealth of young sporting talent we have in our area currently following all kinds of sporting activities and is an excellent example of what can be achieved when you work hard and put the time in to excel.
“We wish Nathan every success and feel sure he will do us all proud next year.”
To help Boyle’s bid for funding email firstname.lastname@example.org.