‘Golden girl with a gun’ - Norfolk youngster aims for victory
- Credit: Submitted
A Norfolk girl with a talent for pistol shooting is aiming for victory in the finals of the British Shooting School Championships.
Daisy Sexton, 12 and from Billingford near Dereham, first picked up an air pistol aged eight through her pony club’s tetrathlon events, and was instructed in the safety basics by her grandfather Bob Callaby, a former Great Britain rifle shot.
Hoping to improve her score, Daisy was taken under the wing of Mick Gault - Britain’s most decorated Commonwealth Games athlete.
“Daisy at 12 years old is already doing better than me as my first win was in my late 20s!” said Mr Gault.
“I no longer shoot but love to pass on my 40 odd years’ experience to shooters who want more from their sport.
"Daisy is like a sponge - she listens, watches and takes in my techniques that I have tailored to suit her age and needs.
“It is a privilege to coach Daisy, she is a very competitive young lady who has many more Golds waiting for her in a very promising future."
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In 2019, despite being the youngest in the field, Daisy won her very first Gold medal at the East of England Regional Championships and became the region’s Junior Champion after a tense knock-out stage. In January 2020, she went on to finish a creditable 11th in the national finals.
Oliver Sexton, father of Daisy, spent hours with grandfather Bob creating a purpose-built range in one of the family’s farm buildings at home which allowed Daisy to continue to practise during the first lockdown.
The 2020/21 championships have been dramatically affected by the pandemic and British Shooting have adapted the Championships accordingly, enabling the competitors to shoot at home with remote submission of targets.
In January 2021 the results were released and Daisy successfully defended her East of England Junior title, adding another gold medal to her collection.
She will now shoot four specifically designated targets, again remotely, for the National Championship and the results will be released in late April.
Mr and Mrs Sexton said they were proud of their “golden girl with a gun”. They added that, as well as Mr Gault’s “truly inspirational” coaching, the headmaster at Daisy’s school - Mike Crossley at Langley Preparatory - had been “so supportive and encouraging”.