South Yorkshire Shooting Club
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- Last updated: 25/08/2017
Businesses, which have a goal and purpose other than to just to make money, are few and far between. I was privileged to visit one such shining light recently. South Yorkshire Shooting Club, or SYSC to its many friends, is a family run firm. As the name suggests it is a shooting club; unlike a lot of clubs, which have many issues due to the committees not working for all the members and not being able to be voted out, SYSC is run for the sole purpose of providing a safe, clean and very friendly environment for anyone to shoot. I visited purposely at one of the few quiet times, so that I could see all of the facilities and talk to the people behind SYSC. Even then, there were a father and son shooting with one of the club’s Air Arms 400s, a break barrelled spring gun shooter and a guy with a top of the range Daystate pre-charged pneumatic with a very nice IOR scope.
Mike, the manager, showed me around and introduced me to Amanda the owner, it was clear talking to them that they care about the future of shooting and juniors are the key. I also got a very nice cup of coffee from the in-house café, very civilised indeed! The café area leads into the club’s 33-yard long, six-lane airgun shooting range. This is fitted out with a whole host of metal targets, electronic moving paper target holders and even CCTV systems to check out where your pellets are hitting, there are comfortable benches and seats to shoot from. I liked the paper system, as it is manually operated, so that you can set the zero where you want, neat.
The back wall of the big range below the viewing window had an airgun trajectory information sheet, very useful and informative. It also has a sheet explaining shooting acronyms and reticles. It’s not that they rely on posters at SYSC, they offer help to all members, regardless of their experience. In fact, they offer a taster session for those who have never shot before, to get a feel for airgun shooting in a very safe, controlled way, for a £35 one-off fee for adults and £30 for juniors aged nine plus. This is a one-hour session with a range marshal giving instruction on the skills needed to become a competent air gun shooter. They start from nine years of age, as at this age they should be able to sit at the shooting benches at SYSC and control a rested gun.
Once you have completed your taster session, you can choose to become a member. They offer a range of membership packages, with discounts for 65+ and family members. Prices range from £55 a year for an adult, juniors pay £50. Once a member, you are entitled to use all the club’s facilities, which are open seven days a week, with free parking no less. There’s always someone at SYSC. They also offer a further ‘Educational Package’, to help members achieve an airgun competence, this covers the technical side and legalities of airgun shooting whilst out of the club environment, providing skills other than being just a good shot. They cover what all airgun users should understand before entering in to any agreement with land owners, if vermin shooting is your preferred avenue. I looked at the curriculum for the competence, and as a Qualified GBSSF club instructor and club coach, I could see it covers everything you will need to know when learning how to shoot, it’s very, very comprehensive.
On gaining the ‘Certification of Airgun Competence’, SYSC provides a professionally presented competent airgun pack that can be used in seeking landowner’s permission and joining shooting clubs. The pack contains material with proof of the shooter’s competence in all areas of safe airgun use, landowner agreement documents, refresher information on airgun law, an air rifle code of practice, lamping code, permission to shoot document, a section on which birds may be controlled with an airgun, respect for quarry and the wood pigeon code of practice, quite a lot really.
It was very clear that SYSC is a real competitive target shooting club, they run numerous competitions, at differing distances and with different calibres, all to encourage and keep the interest of the shooters, it was an impressive thing to see. They also have the Target Sports Central web site, which actually caters for competitive shooting globally; shooters log in and can see how they stand, not only against other shooters but how they are improving- what a fantastic thing that is. They run women only events called, of course, ‘Annie get your gun’; they are hosted by the Annie Oakley gun club, formed by Amanda the owner, they also fundraise for the Macmillan cancer charity. I also loved the playing card challenge, the point of which is to shoot a playing card in half edge ways on, I’d like to try that myself.
I haven’t even mentioned the DryFire laser shotgun simulator, this facility can be hired by members and they can bring five friends along to have some fun. The DryFire is the only thing non-members can shoot. Booking a shooting lane for an hour costs eight pounds and can be booked on line. It does get very busy, air cylinders are provided for PCPs and to hire a rifle costs another eight pounds an hour, but not for supervised juniors, their club gun hire is free, yet another way in which SYSC actively goes out of their way to get youngsters into shooting. It is an air gun only club, rimfire or full-bore rifles cannot be used there. They also have a four-lane, 13-yard pistol range. Two of the lanes have Olympic rifle and pistol target set ups. The other two lanes have metal targets for a bit of fast fire fun with Co2 BB pistols. They also have a gun shop that stocks all the top brands and a gunsmith service to solve any problems you may have. SYSC are holding a free ‘Introduction to Target Sports’ open day on Saturday 16th July 10am-4pm and Sunday 17th July 10am-3pm.
People can also have an opportunity at the club to receive tuition on Olympic Target Sports discipline, 10m rifle and 10-metre pistol by professional coach Dave Mills of the ATEO and British ladies champion Kim Tzabach.
What a place SYSC is, a real jewel in the crown for shooting, the facilities are completely unique within the UK, full central heating, open seven days, gun hire, free air fills, free competitions and targets, tuition, range safety marshal’s, cafe and viewing area, wheelchair access, toilets and free parking. My son George is nine, so SYSC is the ideal place for me to introduce him to shooting. If you are looking at starting to shoot, then SYSC is the perfect place to start.
SYSC. Unit 5 Bradmarsh Court, Bradmarsh Way, Rotherham, S60 1BW
Opening Times | Summer: Monday 10am-2pm | Tuesday
10am-9pm | Wednesday 10am-9pm | Thursday 10am-9pm |
Friday 10am-5pm | Saturday 10am-5pm | Sunday 10am-2pm