Shooter Lara Ward is aiming to represent the Isle of Man in the Commonwealth Games for the fourth consecutive time next year. She already has two qualification scores for Glasgow 2014 and Lara is benefiting from the Glasgow 2014 Support Programme, funded by the Isle of Man Commonwealth Games Association, which provides competitors with expert advice and support from the Isle of Man Sport Institute. In this Athlete Profile we find out more about her achievements and ambitions.
Name: Lara Ward
Home town: Port St Mary
Occupation: Finance Manager at the Bank of Ireland
Sport: Shooting (50metre prone rifle and 10metre air rifle)
Club: Isle of Man Shooting Club
Lara started shooting in 1996 and her main discipline has been the 50metre Prone Rifle event, but in 2009 she began competing in the 10metre Air Rifle category. Her achievements include:
50m Prone Rifle
• Gold medal in the September 2013 Commonwealth (European Division) Shooting Championships (score was a CG MQS).
• 3 golds and one silver in the Island Games (gold and silver in mixed events in Rhodes 2007, and 2 golds in ladies' event in Isle of Wight 2011).
• 2nd in the 2010 Scottish Championships ladies' event.
• Silver medal in the 2009 Commonwealth (European Division) Shooting Championships Ladies Pairs with Gemma Kermode.
• Lara has represented the Isle of Man in the last three Commonwealth Games with individual results of 22nd, 19th and 14th. Her best result being 6th in the Ladies Pairs Suzanne Cubbon in Melbourne 2006.
10m Air Rifle
• Bronze medal in the 2011 Island Games in the Isle of Wight.
• A first and second place in the 2011 South Wales Air Gun Championships (B Class - mixed) which incorporated five competitions over two days.
• Two second places and one third place in the 2012 North Wales Air Gun Championships (A Class - mixed) which incorporated five competitions over three days. Lara also finished third in the overall mixed Olympic final.
Lara has currently attained two Commonwealth Games qualification scores for Glasgow 2014
Events you are aiming to compete in at Glasgow
50m Prone Rifle.
How does being on the Glasgow 2014 Support Programme
The support programme has given me access to medical and physiotherapy services so that injuries can be treated quickly, and by people to know and understand the requirements of my sport. Nutritional advice is also available looking at the best foods to eat at different stages of training or competition. Rifle shooting is not an active sport, but nutrition and hydration are key to being able to maintain concentration throughout the competition and perform at a high standard. Finally, the Kelly Holmes programme, the chance to meet and gain knowledge and inspiration from the high level sports people that are involved in this programme, is just priceless!
What do the Commonwealth Games mean to
I have been lucky enough to represent the Isle of Man at three Commonwealth Games. This is something that I am so proud of, it's actually very difficult to put into words. It is the highest level of competition that an athlete can compete at and represent the Isle of Man, just saying those words gives me goosebumps! The support and encouragement that the Island gives its athletes is amazing and nothing would make me more proud than to bring back a medal from Glasgow 2014.