More than 100 people attended an open day at the Manx Blind Welfare Society’s headquarters to learn about acoustic shooting.
Among those to try out the new activity were President of Tynwald Claire Christian, Community, Culture and Leisure Minister Graham Cregeen, Member of the Legislative Council Geoff Corkish and Onchan MHK David Quirk.
Isle of Man Constabulary firearms instructor Constable Mark Dimsdale also had a go, alongside Society members, volunteers and staff.
Friday’s open day at Corrin Court in Onchan was an opportunity for the Society to demonstrate what its latest innovative activity is all about. Designed for the visually impaired, but open to all, acoustic shooting involves the use of adapted rifles fitted with special sights, which measure the level of light reflected from the target and convert it into sound. Participants wear headphones to hear the sound, which becomes more frequent the closer they are to the target.
The event was open to all, to observe or have a go, and expert Ken Nash from British Blind Sport was on hand to offer advice as visitors tried out the specially built range.
MBWS Visually Impaired Shooting Coordinator Dave Wilson said: ‘We were delighted to welcome so many people from so many walks of life to Corrin Court to find out about acoustic shooting.
‘Everyone seemed to enjoy the challenge and there is a lot of interest in what could be a new sport for the Isle of Man. We plan to run a couple more open days, and then we hope there will be regular club nights.
‘We are now registered with the N.S.R.A in the UK as the “Manx Acoustic Shooting Club”, and we hope there will be some exciting opportunities, including competitions, in the future.’
MBWS Chief Executive Ian Cooil added: ‘The Society was really pleased to welcome so many people to Corrin Court. It was a wonderful opportunity not only to introduce the new activity of acoustic shooting, but also to explain much more about what the Society does, the diverse range of activities and services we offer, as well as opportunities to support our work, including volunteering.’
MBWS provides a range of important services and support to more than 600 people with serious sight loss in the Island. It relies entirely on donations to fund its services which are mainly provided for free to members.
To find out more about acoustic shooting or the work of MBWS, please visit www.mbws.org.im or www.facebook.com/manxblindwelfaresociety
Photograph: Ken Nash, of British Blind Sport, with Roger Ingrey