As a sport, Shooting doesn’t get much attention, but there’s one woman determined to change all that. Georgina Geikie, 25, Britain’s top female pistol shooter – and a Commonwealth Games Bronze Medallist – is aiming for a Gold Medal at The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and sees them as a chance to show Britain how great her sport really is.
“I remember exactly where I was when I heard the news that London had won the rights to host the 2012 Olympic Games,” she says. “My ultimate goal has always been to represent my country at the Olympic Games and to do it in my own country isn’t an opportunity I could turn down.
“The 2012 London Olympic Games will raise awareness about sport, especially Shooting. The public doesn’t really know about Shooting and often the first things that are talked about with guns are the negatives, but it’s such a positive sport – and we are good at it in Great Britain! It’s just that people don’t understand it.”
Geikie competes in two events: the 10m air pistol and 25m sport pistol, after giving up the Pentathlon at university to concentrate solely on Shooting. The sport pistol was banned in Britain after the Dunblane tragedy. It was only last year that Geikie was allowed to be in possession of her gun here (as part of her preparations for the 2012 Olympic Games), and only this year that she was allowed to fire it, and even then only at two Shooting ranges, neither of them near her home in Devon.
In February, she won two Bronze Medals at the Commonwealth Shooting Federation Championships in New Delhi, a preparation for the Commonwealth Games, which will be held there in October.
“I knew it would be eye-opening and it was, but we were looked after really well. The territory will now be familiar when we actually compete there at the Commonwealth Games.”
Geikie receives funding from British Shooting, the only pistol shooter to benefit, and was also given a big boost by Great Britons, the programme run by British Airways to help home-grown talent achieve their dreams by flying them to BA destinations all over the world for free. She was one of the winners of round two, receiving flights to Switzerland and Australia.
“I thought it was just one flight, but they said I’d won three, which was fantastic,” she says. “The trials for the Commonwealth Games were held in Switzerland, so winning those flights really put me on the road to the Games. With the third flight, I went to the Oceania Games in Sydney and brought back a Silver Medal, which made all the effort worthwhile.