Thursday 19 September 2019

Ciara is shooting for the world

Ciara Carley.
Ciara Carley.

Brendan Keane

A teenager from Ballymurn is proving herself to be a formidable shot having secured a Leinster title, all-Ireland title and winning a world championship silver medal for clay pigeon shooting.

Ciara Carley (18), began shooting when she was 14 through the Ballyvake Clay Pigeon Club that her father, Paddy, runs in Oylegate.

'I was in second year in Coláiste Bríde and I worked at the range,' Ciara told this newspaper.

'I decided to try one of the guns and give it a go,' she added.

'My dad had been shooting and my older brother as well.'

While she practises with her dad's club Ciara is a member of the Newbay Clay Pigeon Club in Kilmore.

She said the first time she took a shot it was addictive: 'When you start hitting them [the clay targets] you just want to keep going.'

Ciara is very appreciative of the help and support she has received with her training from David Benson: 'He works on different aspects of my shooting and if there's a particular thing I'm not keen on he will work with me to make it better.'

Having secured a first place finish in this year's ladies Leinster competition Ciara won the ladies all-Ireland event and her current run of success culminated in the silver medal at world championships in the ladies junior section.

Ciara will be eligible to compete in the junior competition until she is 21 and will then move to the senior rank.

Unlike this year when she competed as a solo entrant she hopes to secure her place on the Irish national squad for the 2020 world championships in England.

'Trials will begin in January and I hope to make it onto the Irish ladies team,' she said.

Ciara loves the challenge posed by competing - especially the variety of target positions and directions that shooters face.

Such is her rapid rise in a sport that is pursued all over the world that German gun manufacturer, Blaser, has sponsored her on a three-year deal.

She is one of only a handful of people in Ireland who has received sponsorship.

Clay pigeon shooting is also an Olympic sport, however, for the moment the costs involved in the qualification process are too prohibitive but it's something that Ciara would love to attempt if the opportunity arises.

For now though, she is setting her sights on the next world championships while also looking towards retaining her all-Ireland and Leinster titles.

Wexford has many clay pigeon shooting clubs and Ciara's dad's club is also open to people interested in having a go.

To find out more about getting involved contact Paddy directly on 086 6861154.

Enniscorthy Guardian