University student Ben Kelly has his sights fixed on representing Team Isle of Man at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. In this Athlete Profile we find out more about his achievements in shooting, and his ambitions in the sport.
Name: Ben Kelly
Home town: Port St Mary
University: Edinburgh Napier University, studying Biomedical Sciences (2nd Year)
Sport: Target Rifle
Sports club: Isle of Man Shooting Club (St Johns), Edinburgh University Rifle Club
Ben started shooting at 12 years old in Port St Mary Rifle Club. He developed his skills and started competing five years ago. Commonwealth Shooting Federation (European Division) Championship held at St Johns in September 2013, scored 592 out of 600 in the men's individual 50m prone and came away with a silver medal. He also exceeded the qualifying standards for Commonwealth Games. In August 2013 during the National Small-bore Rifle Association (NSRA) National Meeting at Bisley, Surrey, came third in the Double English Match 'A' Class. He also came third at the Junior International Target Shooting Match in Bisley, Surrey during August 2011, and in June 2011 whilst taking part in Nat West 2011 Island Games, Isle of Wight, Ben came second in the individual event and third in the team event earning silver and bronze respectively. Aside from Ben's target shooting achievements he also competed as part of the Isle of Man's Rugby 7s team in the 2011 Commonwealth Youth Games.
Target events for Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth
Ben's main event will be the Men's 50 metre Prone Rifle.
Aims for 2014
Ben says: "At the Commonwealth Games my aim is to make it into the final and only the top 8 Commonwealth shooters can achieve this. In addition to this I am taking part in the Great Britain Junior International Target Shooting Championship at the National Shooting Centre, Bisley, in August and I am hoping to come first in the prone event this year. At the Isle of Man National Easter Shooting Festival in April I hope to place in the top three. I am currently ranked number three junior in Great Britain and very much hope to be selected for the squad and represent Great Britain in their events."
How does being on the Glasgow 2014 Support Programme
Ben Said: "As I am currently attending university and based in Edinburgh it is very difficult to utilise all of the wide variety of resources on offer within the Support Programme. However, I have been involved in some of the Kelly Holmes workshops and these have really helped me by giving lots of pointers and different approaches to my training. I have also had some coaching sessions specific to shooting and I do gain a lot from them."
The Glasgow 2014 Support Programme is run by the Isle of Man Sport Institute and allows competitors chosen by the Isle of Man Commonwealth Games Association to receive expert advice and support. The support provided by the Sport Institute to the selected competitors is funded by the Isle of Man Commonwealth Games Association. Those selected for the programme can access a range of services from Sport Institute experts including physiotherapy, sports nutrition advice, sports psychology, sports massage, and strength and conditioning training. However, selection for the Glasgow 2014 Support Programme does not guarantee that they will be chosen to represent Team Isle of Man at the Commonwealth Games.
What do the Commonwealth Games mean to
Ben is really hoping that he is able to take part in the Commonwealth Games. He said: "Representing the Isle of Man gives me great pride, it is where I was born and will always be my home. Being a part of putting the island on the sporting map would be a great achievement for me. In addition, I receive support from lots of people including family, friends, coaches, sponsors and Sport Aid, so doing well in the Games would be a perfect way of repaying this support."