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The Magpies

Meet the NRA team touring the Channel Islands in 2023

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Richard Bird

Northhants, Leicester and Rutland, England

Richard first learned how to shoot in the St Lawrence College CCF, initially starting with smallbore but quickly moving on to 303 Lee Enfields and becoming captain for 3 years. There then followed a 38 year gap, during which medical training, a surgical career and family took precedence. Richard was drawn back into shooting TR by the Old Lawrentian RC, in 2012, then entering his first Imperial in 2014.

 

Since then, Richard has represented England in the Lawrence Match in 2022, helping to beat Scotland, only to then be totally beaten by the the wind in Blair Atholl the next day in the individual long range match. It was a fish tailing headwind! His recent shooting career is in no small part thanks to the North London and the many individuals who have been very helpful and generous with their time and talents, but the main offender would have to be Chris Weeden, who persuaded Richard to return to shooting and continues to be a great mentor. Perhaps it’s only fitting as Richard was one of the people who helped him learn to shoot at school!

Having retired from being a general and vascular surgeon, Richard now spends his downtime pursuing photography, DIY, supporting TEARfund as well as grandparenting remotely since the family lives in Sydney. Thinking beyond the tour, Richard will be trying to be a good mentor and  focusing on improving the consistency of his shooting and wind reading, to prevent a repeat of Blair Atholl 2022.

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Richard Dyball

West of Scotland, Scotland

Like most on the squad, Richard started shooting smallbore rifle at school and has continued with the various disciplines ever since, with dedication ebbing and flowing depending on work, family and other commitments. The other hobbies include motorcycling including track days and touring, as well as a lot of competitive sailing, particularly in J24’s, a 24ft one design keelboat. Richard was part of a crew of five that won national championships and a European Championship. Shooting takes precedence these days though.

 

Richard has been a member of Wandsworth FBRC for over 20 years. The club has been very supportive and helpful. It has a strong talented membership that is always willing to help and year on year organises a good individual and team shooting schedule. 

 

A member of the West of Scotland county team, Richard went clean when the team won the County Championship Long Range during last year’s Imperial, a side captained by Simon Dickson who happens to be our Head Coach. While Richard wouldn’t want to jinx anything when thinking about life beyond the tour, we can take solace in the strong promise shown by his scores both in training and recently the matches against the English XX Lions team.

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Rob Edwards

Gloucestershire

Rob’s shooting journey took an all too similar route, having started in cadets at school for a short time, before rediscovering the sport through colleagues at work. Namely Ian Ashworth, the tour’s Adjutant, and Phil Northam, who thankfully converted Rob back to the dark side on trips to Bisley with the North Herts Rifles. Rob is also especially appreciative of the Bristol Aero Memorial Rifle & Pistol Club and most importantly his understanding wife Jade for letting him spend so much time on camp!

 

While off the range, Rob enjoys cycling, swimming and photography, although admittedly these hobbies have had to take a back seat and he doesn’t spend as much time on them as he used to. 

 

While this will be Rob’s first tour, his main aim is to continue to improve and enjoy the sport, performing at the best of his ability. His selection for this year’s English XX Lions should come as no surprise, given his Grand placing of 120th at last year’s Imperial Meeting now firmly placing him in A Class. This additional training must have paid off, as Rob’s consistent performance over the latest joint training weekend with the Lions saw the NRA see off the opposition.

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John Evans

Somerset, Wales

Another member of Wandsworth FBRC, John has had a somewhat less conventional way of joining the sport. After shooting some smallbore at school, John’s interests were initially focused on rugby and motorcycle racing. It was only when he met Charlie, now his wife, that he discovered the world of Bisley. Although she was taking a break from shooting, she decided she wanted to get back into it and it was a case of join her or don’t see her for the summer.  Fortunately he fell in love with the sport and has continued with it ever since.

 

Joining Wandsworth then enabled John to continue shooting in a supportive atmosphere - something he would highly recommend to any young shooters wishing for the same. A special mention is due to Andy and David Luckman in the Somerset County team for many great tips and suggestions, as well as of course Charlie for bringing him to the range in the first place.

 

In a true showing of his natural skill, John went on to win the BCRC Africa, Kiwi and Ceylon trophies as well as the bottle of wine for the lowest sighters aggregate, in addition to the R Jarvis in a very secondhand (but new to him) jacket – having had the mickey taken by some of the best of Bisley whilst trying to get the buttons in the right place!

 

While off the range, John’s impressive array of hobbies  include car, motorcycle and golf buggy maintenance, DIY, beekeeping, photography and building and flying model aircraft and drones. When thinking about the near future, John would still like to make a GB cap, having made several appearances for Wales in the National in recent years.

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Ed Feast

Hertfordshire

Following a familiar storyline, Ed started shooting air rifles in the back garden before the age of 10, then progressing to fullbore through the Air Training Corps, Stevenage RPC, then finally introduced to Jaguar RPC and Solihull RPC for smallbore by Sasha R. after starting first job at Jaguar Land Rover. 

 

Ed’s most memorable shooting experience to date is shooting at Bloemfontein in 2012 while only in second year of fullbore, challenging but interesting, as well as being in the second-placed Shooting Tootin Gunslingers for the U25 Imperial 150 match, alongside fellow teammate Sasha. These experiences helped bring Ed into the fold of the England team as Ed then shot the latest two European Long Range championships with the national team. His development has also been aided by Colin Skellet and Dick Winney through Hertfordshire county teams, Parag Patel as a fellow leftie who donated an old jacket that Ed still uses, as well as Glyn Barnet as Ed’s mentor for Lions 2021.
 

When off the range, Ed enjoys walking the family black lab, confusingly also called Sasha. Touring runs in the family, as Ed’s father, Gary, toured the US with the GB team in 1992. The sentiment of #LoveTour must have been passed on to Ed, as he would like to repeat the tour at similar level or with the England team in 2024.

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Ryan Lindsay

Ireland, GBU21

Challenging the tour Adjutant for the nickname of “Super-Sub”, Ryan was drafted onto the team after several members unfortunately had to drop out. His performance as top shot over the weekend matches against the English XX Lions has now solidified his place on the tour and makes him all the more worthy of the monicker.

 

A regular on the Ireland team in recent years, Ryan’s most memorable achievement is receiving a very nice Kukri for 2nd place in the Gurkha Appeal with a score of 75.14, after converting 5V! Ryan’s journey started first with his father, then continued with the Army Cadet Force (ACF) which helped him develop his skills and enabled him to try out for teams and tours as a cadet, then for GB teams.

 

Having previously toured the Channel Islands with the UKCRT, Ryan relishes the opportunity to return, now with the added experience of New Zealand with the 2019 GBU21 team and hopes the tour will help on his way to getting selected for more tours and teams in the future. Special thanks are in order to Ryan’s family  for all their help and advice over the years  which have been instrumental to getting him to this stage.

 

Off the range, Ryan is a software developer with some dabbling in data analytics and enjoys several other sports at a (very) casual level, including: Badminton, Rock Climbing and Kick Boxing.

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Euan Munro

West of Scotland, Scotland

Following the team’s traditional personal background, Euan started shooting with an air rifle aged 12 and went on through small-bore rifle, pistol, historics, deer stalking and only getting in to “modern” TR in 2017, almost by

accident, all whilst being a Consultant Vascular Surgeon working in the NE of Scotland, a sort of a plumber really! 

 

Euan has been consistently giving back to the world of shooting, helping numerous young gamekeepers achieve their Level 2 Deer Stalking Certificate and then seeing them progress on to successful careers in their profession. In TR, Euan recently won the David Hossack Memorial Trophy when

Scotland won the Lawrence in 2021.

Off the range Euan has been a very active scuba diver, with a longstanding interest in classic vehicles, including a 1974 VW Camper and a 1965 Mini Cooper S. While naturally each bio was re-written from the initial interview questions, a direct quote is required for Euan’s drive for the sport:

 

"My main satisfaction is gained from being in the company of like-minded friends, trying always to do better and if any rewards or opportunities happen along, then that is a bonus."

 

Special thanks go to the SGA , PRS & BASC, Euan’s many friends in West Atholl & Cawdor Rifle Clubs, the AFBGC and Bon-Accord SBRC.

Sasha Radkovskii

Oxfordshire

Sasha first got the opportunity to shoot at Sevenoaks School, through a year-round sports option and CCF. After then spending 3 years with the Warwick University Rifle Club, he made his Imperial debut in the 150th Meeting in 2019, notably placing 2nd in the U25 Imperial 150 Match with the Shootin Tootin Gunslingers. 2020 was the breakthrough year - from winning the Harper Tyro Trophy in that year’s North London Championships (Beating his team mate, Chris Vonchek by 2 points), to breaking his T straight into A Class by making it to St. George’s Final. 

 

Outside of shooting, Sasha was employee number 9 and is still working at Copper.co, a FinTech startup in London. The rest of his time is spent shooting smallbore with the Stock Exchange RC and pursuing various other life hobbies, including diving and skiing. Above all, however, he is enjoying the excitement of touring as part of this team. Looking beyond the tour, Sasha’s sights are set on future opportunities with senior teams and squads.

Sasha would like to thank the past and present staff at Sevenoaks for introducing him to shooting, as well as both the British Young Shooters Association (BYSA) and the Old Framlinghamians, for providing opportunities to continue shooting after leaving university, and for overall enabling him to continue to enjoy shooting with old and new friends throughout the season. A special thanks also to Sasha’s girlfriend and family for forgoing most holidays with him in the last couple of years and for the foreseeable future.

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Chris Vonchek

Hampshire, GBU25

Chris has had a comparatively long shooting career from his time in the cadets at Wellington College, all the way to a GB U25 tour to South Africa earlier this year. After 8 years of being a Tyro, Chris finally placed 140th in the Grand Aggregate last year and jumped into A class, also securing spots on this tour, the English XX Lions and GB U25 squads. 

 

Having graduated in July 2022 from the University of Kent where he studied Ancient History, Chris currently works as a Junior Project Manager at Locus Software Ltd and is also involved in the University of London OTC. During his downtime, Chris enjoys swimming, walking his dog around the local area and being an all-round good chap.

 

Looking beyond this tour, Chris is looking forward to continuing shooting with Hampshire County, the North London Rifle Club & Old Wellingtonians and hopes to represent England in the National this year.

 

Chris started shooting under the tutelage of Nigel Ball and would like to thank him as well as the Old Wellingtonian coaches. Separate thanks to Tom Rylands for the superb rifle, setting up of Chris’ position and for the continuous mentoring over the last couple of years. Thanks must also go to this tour’s management team for this incredible experience and opportunity.

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Ed Welford

Hampshire, England

Ed started shooting at Wellington College when he was 13 and is now a Business Analyst for a Facilities Management company, working with the Commercial Team on bids. He produces financial models for clients across a variety of sectors encompassing a number of different services that they provide. In his spare time, Ed enjoys running and cycling and has been known to attempt the odd triathlon, but is currently spending a lot of his spare time with his one year old son. 

 

Shooting does indeed run in the Welford family as Ed’s father famously toured with the current tour’s Captain, Head Coach and Adjutant. While Ed might not appreciate this year’s committee calling him by his father’s name every now and again, he is definitely thankful to Rob - especially for the support shown to him in his early career.

 

Ed’s own experience includes the successful GB U25 Team at the World Championships in Canada in 2007, as well as outings with the Hampshire Rifle Association, who he has shot with for some time now. Notably, Ed top scored both in the National-style match and was top scorer across both matches recently against the English XX Lions. Following the tour will be Ed’s 25th Imperial meeting and hopefully a GB tour might be on the horizon soon.

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