It has been 20 years since Guernsey last hosted an Island Games and the competition will be coming back to the island bigger and better than ever before this July. At Swoffers we are passionate about supporting women in sport, and even have our very own shooting superstar competing in the Games. Nikki Trebert, our senior property manager, will be facing nine other islands to win a medal in the shooting events. We spoke with Nikki to find out why she loves the sport and more about the competition.
How did you get into shooting?
I’ve been shooting since I was 14. It was a sport we had the opportunity to try at school. I really enjoyed it so joined the Guernsey Pistol Club and realised I was actually quite good at it.
I then entered the Junior British Championships and won! And it just continued from there. I have now been shooting for 32 years and have been lucky enough to participate in many international competitions including two Commonwealth Games (Glasgow in 2014 and Gold Coast in 2018).
How many medals have you won?
In total I’ve won ten gold medals, six silver and five bronze.
Which pistols do you use?
I use an air pistol pellet gun which is for indoor use and has a shooting range of 10m. I also use a .22 pistol for outdoors which has a 25m range and much smaller bullets.
What do you enjoy about shooting?
I find it really calming, it allows my mind to focus and forget about the rest of the world. My favourite discipline is 25m Pistol, which has 2 parts, you shoot 30 shots precision and 30 shots rapid at turning paper targets. The rapid section is my favourite; each shot has to be taken within three seconds, there is no time to overthink the shot so I just concentrate on technique and do not think about nerves.
How many Island Games have you competed in?
This will be my 10th Island Games. My first one was in Jersey in 1997. This year though I will not only be competing but also helping organise the shooting competitions as the Island Games Pistol Co-ordinator.
Which Island Games events will you be competing in this year?
I will be competing in the ladies’ standard pistol on 11 July. This is where 20 shots of five shots are fired in under 150 seconds, 20 seconds, and 10 seconds. On 13 July I’m competing in the 25m sport pistol event.
There are both individual and team competitions. For the team events I will be partnering with Tara Leighton-Dyson, a very strong shooter, and our scores will be combined.
I’m yet to qualify for the air pistol events as there are more qualifying competitions to still take place. I am hoping to qualify for the ladies’ air pistol events which will be shot on electronic targets – a first for Guernsey.
What are you looking forward to for this year’s Island Games?
I’m looking forward to welcoming the other Island shooters to Guernsey’s home range. We’ve met many times before and, even though we are competing against each other, it’s like a big family.
I also would love to win a medal. The strongest competition will be Jersey, Gibraltar, Gotland, and Isle of Wight.
How have you been preparing?
I train four times a week, but closer to the Games I’ll up this to five times. I’ve been practising at the outdoor range at Chouet, and, when its dark in the evenings, at the indoor range. Practising outside helps to train for different weather conditions and lighting. I also train at home doing dry firing where no bullets are used. This helps me practice my trigger control, timing, lifts, and visualisation.
The Island Games is the first competition I’ve taken part in since the 2019 Gibraltar Island Games due to Covid. I’m hoping to go to France in April to compete and to go to the Channel Island Championships in Jersey so I can practice under competition pressures.
What’s new to this year’s Games?
The use of electronic targets for the air pistol and air rifle events. They will provide instant results, and the technology will enable people to view the targets online and watch the shooting event. Perhaps not an advantage for Guernsey air shooters, as the range will only be assembled just before the Games, so it will be a new temporary range at Aztec Centre.
After the games they will stay on island, which will massively benefit local shooters, especially when preparing for national competitions; so a brilliant legacy of the Games. Unfortunately spectators will not be able to view the full bore disciplines at Chouet, due to a lack of space on the range. But there will hopefully be a camera, so people can log on to livestream the shooting events.
How can others get into shooting?
I’d recommend trying Air Pistol or Air Rifle at the Cobo United Air Rifle Club Cobo-arc.co.uk. For those who wish to shoot Pistol, more details can be found on guernseypistolclub.com. It would be great if more people could get into the sport.