My Top Moments Of 2016 – James Osborne

Looking back at my 2016 FT year it is very easy to focus on the negative aspects, in particular, those moments where my scores left a lot to be desired through no one’s fault other than my own. But looking at 2016 from a glass half full perspective there is plenty to look back on positively and of course, while my scores are important to me there is more to FT.

The FT year has a fairly established calendar with 2016 being no exception. However, we have shot some of those familiar events at different venues keeping shoots fresh that might otherwise stagnate. Now it is hard to pick out just one event as my favourite from 2016 but the NEFTA Classic has to be on my shortlist. The competition is held over two consecutive days and with Silhouette shooting incorporated this shoot stands apart from the rest. I may have missed out on the overall title, but coming away with the FT title definitely helped to make the weekend.

NEFTA Classic 2

Another weekend away was the BFTA Championships and Inter-regional competition. This year Tondu were our hosts in Wales, and of course, as we were in Wales we experienced plenty of weather! Unpredictable conditions aside as the competition opens the summer season this shoot is a personal highlight as I can catch up with old friends.

The BFTA Grand Prix series is the backbone of the FT summer and while it can sometimes feel like a chore traveling around the country but it is worth it. As the Air Arms FT team captain, I take a special interest in the teams performance throughout series. Last year the Air Arms FT team failed to win the team event but this year we applied ourselves and succeeded with team wins in both leagues 1 and 2. The Air Arms FT team members really get into the team spirit and I would like to thank them here for their commitment and putting up with me as their Captain; I’m surprised there hasn’t been a mutiny!

The summer FT season culminated at the Midland Game Fair and the European Championships. England 2017 team places were up for grabs at this shoot along with excellent prizes. My shooting hasn’t been too bad this year but always a little of the pace so I set myself the goal of making the England team at this shoot. Frustratingly I missed out on a place by a couple of places with my positional shots letting me down. But as I am in a glass half full kind of mood this set back has at least made me concentrate on these shots since. Obviously, though the highlight of this weekend was getting to see and say hello to everyone from Air Arms on their stand.

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Now the winter league shoots are in progress thoughts about FT in 2017 are already rattling around my poor brain. The 2017 FT World Championships are being held in Wales and my place is already booked. It has been a few years since I have competed at a World Championships and I’m looking forward to seeing if I still have what it takes to perform well at this level.

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Of course, FT isn’t just about the shooting of competitions, I have seen many of my friends deservedly win events or shoot personal bests exceeding even their own expectations and that makes those days that things may not have gone so well for me that little bit better.

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