Back in March we spoke with Nikki Trebert, our very own shooting superstar and senior property manager, to discuss her preparations for this year’s Island Games in Guernsey. Now the Games are just a few days away, we got back in touch to find out how ready she is feeling.
How has training been going?
Everything is really starting to come together now. Training has been going well, I do at least five training sessions a week and have been shooting as much as I can on the outdoor range.
Practicing shooting outdoors helps to get used to the various weather and lighting conditions. One day it could be really hot and bright, and the next really windy and dull, which impacts how you shoot.
How well did you do in the recent Channel Islands Championships?
It went very well, some of my Island Games teammates came over to Jersey too and we picked up a few medals. I won two golds and two silvers. It was great to be able to practice in a competition setting ahead of the Games and to also use the electronic targets they have in Jersey.
We currently don’t have electronic targets in Guernsey so we aren’t as used to using them, but excitingly we are getting them in for the Games and they will stay on island. This will massively benefit local shooters, especially when preparing for national competitions, so a brilliant legacy of the Games.
It was also good to see at the Championships how we measured up against the Jersey shooters who are taking part in the Island Games as well.
How does shooting on home turf compare to competing off island?
For air pistol we don’t really have much of an advantage as the range is only being assembled a couple days before. So, we won’t have much time to trial it out. It will be interesting to see though how we settle on a totally new range.
I normally practice at Chouet so am very familiar with the conditions of that range and how the wind flows through, so I usually do quite well if it’s windy.
Last time we spoke, you didn’t know if you’d qualified for the air pistol event yet. Were you successful?
Yes I was! I have qualified so will be competing in three events: the Ladies’ Standard Pistol, Sport Pistol, and the Ladies’ Air Pistol.
There are both individual and team competitions. For the team events I will be partnering with Tara Leighton-Dyson.
Which event do you think you will do best in?
That’s a tricky one. Probably the standard pistol but I do really enjoy sport pistol and can shoot that one very well. It’s quite difficult to predict the outcome of the air pistol competition as there are quite a few of us that are very similar in our abilities.
How confident are you feeling?
My training has gone well, I just need to control my nerves. If I shoot how I have been shooting in training, I will be happy. This year there’s a real mix of new shooters and shooters I’ve shot against before so it will be interesting to see how everyone performs. Isle of Wight is probably our toughest competition, but our shooting team is very strong so hopefully we can secure some medals for Guernsey!
As Island Games Pistol Co-ordinator, is everything on track?
Yes, preparations for the Games and temporary facilities have started. To be ready to be able to run the events we are bringing in portacabins, containers and generators as we only really have the range roof for shelter.
The week before the Opening Ceremony will be full on to make sure everything is operational and ready for the athletes as they start to arrive on the Thursday. We are also hoping to livestream the events as spectators aren’t allowed on the range.
What are you most looking forward to?
I’m excited to welcome everyone to Guernsey, and for us to host the Games, it has been a long time since we last saw each other. The last Island Games was in Gibraltar four years ago as the 2021 Games was cancelled due to Covid. It will be lovely to catch up with the shooters I’ve competed against before and to make new friends.
Most of the shooting medal ceremonies will be held at Beau Sejour. It will be a hub for other events too as swimming will be there and lots will be going on. Shooting is quite often not accessible, so it’s good to feel part of the Games by meeting up afterwards and everyone can come and support the medal winners.
The island will come alive with over 2,000 athletes coming over and I am sure everyone will feel the energy the Island Games creates. There’s lots planned, for example St James is hosting a social area for athletes and the general public.
I’m also looking forward to hopefully watching a few other sports and finding out how the other Guernsey athletes have got on, it creates a lovely team feeling.
We wish Nikki the best of luck. Read more about Nikki’s shooting journey here.