Spitfire has real passion for clay-pigeon shooting

13 year old Isabella "Blonde Spitfire" Thurnell from West Winch has just won two national clay pigeo

13 year old Isabella "Blonde Spitfire" Thurnell from West Winch has just won two national clay pigeon titles. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Most 13-year-old girls are crazy for boy bands and clothes, but Isabella 'Izzy' Thurnell, known as 'Blonde Spitfire', has a slightly different pastime.

13 year old Isabella "Blonde Spitfire" Thurnell from West Winch has just won two national clay pigeo

13 year old Isabella "Blonde Spitfire" Thurnell from West Winch has just won two national clay pigeon titles. Picture: Matthew Usher.

For the last three years she has been passionate about clay-pigeon shooting and is now competing and beating competitors twice her age.

Last weekend, at Nottingham District Gun Club, she won both the English Open and British Open Double Rise Championships in both the ladies and colts categories.

The youngster, who attends King's Lynn Academy, said: 'I do sometimes miss doing girlie things with my friends on weekends, when I have to practise and compete, but I really enjoy it.'

Her mother Jenny Norton, 48, from Southfield Drive, West Winch, near King's Lynn, said: 'I think it's great she does this. She used to be a good gymnast, but broke her arm and never got back into it.

13 year old Isabella "Blonde Spitfire" Thurnell from West Winch has just won two national clay pigeo

13 year old Isabella "Blonde Spitfire" Thurnell from West Winch has just won two national clay pigeon titles. Picture: Matthew Usher.


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'My partner Martin used to clay pigeon shoot and she used to watch him at Cambridge gun club. She first picked up a gun aged 10, when she was much smaller. The owner of the club said she had a natural ability and he started coaching her. She practises at a new ground near Long Stratton and has competed all around the country from Essex and Wales to Yorkshire.

'Her aim next year is to get in the England team. She's beating women now who shoot for England and are in their 40s. She already has sponsorship and has her own gun, a Caesar Guerini.'

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Does your child have a natural aptitude for a sport? Email david.bale2@archant.co.uk

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