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Nikki Trebert is not only Senior Property Manager at Swoffers, she’s also a champion pistol shooter who is aiming for a medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

When Nikki’s school, La Mare De Carteret, offered shooting as an option for a term, it sparked an enthusiasm which has led to a stellar career. ‘I wasn’t a natural shooter, I had to work at it but I absolutely loved it from the start,’ says Nikki.

There are several different disciplines in the sport, including rifle and clay pigeon shooting but Nikki’s favourite is the pistol. ‘I shoot air pistol, sport pistol and standard pistol, Air is shot indoors at 10m, Sport and Standard are shot outdoors at 25m there are different courses of fire but still applying similar techniques,’ explains Nikki.

Traditionally a male-dominated sport, women’s shooting is developing and gaining in popularity. Nikki competes in mixed events as well as in ladies’ events and the ISFF – shooting’s governing body – is levelling the playing field between the sexes. This means that, whereas women used to have to fire fewer shots than men, they now must do the same. Nikki’s favourite discipline, sport pistol, requires you to fire 30 precision shots, followed by ’30 shots of rapid fire, where the target turns or newer electronic targets have lights that you have to shoot within a three-second period; it’s quite dynamic and that’s my favourite part of the event.’

Apart from good hand-eye coordination, you need excellent concentration. ‘You have to block out everything that’s going on around you, just focus on your sights and squeezing the trigger. I find it quite relaxing, an escape from everything going on in the world.’ Physical training is important too: ‘You should have good lung capacity and fitness helps in competition with endurance.’

Nikki’s list of achievements is phenomenal, from the British Championships to the GB National Squad and the European Championships. ‘I’ve attended eight Island Games, set a few British records, an Island Games record and then in 2014 went to the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, which was amazing. The atmosphere was brilliant.’

In April 2018 Nikki will compete at the Commonwealth Games on Australia’s Gold Coast. Although shooting often takes place in a satellite location, this time the team will stay together. ‘Our bus leaves at 5am every morning but it will be nice to feel part of the bigger team and be able to support my other teammates.’ Nikki has learnt lessons from her 2014 experience: ‘Last time I went with the aim of reaching the final and I put so much pressure on myself and with the media and everything else, I got so nervous I didn’t perform to the best of my ability. This time I just want to do my best and focus on the technique. The final scores will come if you get the technique right.’

Nikki is clearly a perfectionist and admits: ‘I’m very hard on myself – I expect a certain standard and if I don’t do that I’m disappointed with myself.’ This applies to her job as well as her sport. ‘Being slightly OCD on perfection isn’t always a good thing, but it does mean I’m going to put 100% into whatever I do.’ As Senior Property Manager, she looks after a large portfolio of properties, both tenanted and those that are vacant whilst owners are away from the island. ‘I’ve been at Swoffers for 13 and a half years, so there is not much I haven’t seen or done in the role,’ says Nikki. The role is varied, which she enjoys. Of her employers, Nikki says, ‘Swoffers have been very supportive and they’re always very encouraging to help people perform to the best of their ability, both in work and outside of work. My colleagues often take part in challenges and are keen to support the community’.

Unfortunately, shooting will not feature in Birmingham in 2022, so Australia will potentially be Nikki’s last Commonwealth Games but she has no plans to retire. The UK’s strict gun control laws make the logistics of the competition difficult, but Nikki hopes that shooting will make a return. ‘It’s one of the really popular sports, the new format for the finals are really exciting to watch, I love the skill, focus and the accuracy involved in shooting.’

Nikki is currently training up to six times a week, combining this with working full time and family life. Six-year-old daughter Maicie has inherited her mother’s competitive nature. ‘She doesn’t like losing at Monopoly so we can squabble a bit over who’s going to win! Sometimes a competitive nature is a good thing because it makes you work hard but I’m also trying to get her to understand that you need to learn from when you don’t win and to work out how to make yourself better for next time.’

To find out more about getting involved in the sport, visit Guernsey Pistol Club or Guernsey Air Rifle Association.

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