Hotshot father and son aim for Olympics
A FATHER and son are dreaming of Olympic glory after triumphing at the British Airgun Championships.
Andy Graver was named British Men's Air Pistol Champion 2011 and claimed a bronze medal, while his son Eddie also brought home bronze.
Now, the two from Worlingham are hoping that an appeal for local sponsorship could help them move on to the Olympic stage.
Andy, 46, and Eddie, 17, travelled to the National Shooting Centre in Bisley, Surrey, to take part in the air pistol championships.
Andy claimed bronze in the senior men's air pistol open, while Eddie, who is studying for his A Levels at Sir John Leman High School, in Beccles, won bronze in the junior men's air pistol open.
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Andy was also named the British Air Pistol Champion for a score of 570 out of 600 – although he didn't realise it at the time.
He said: 'I did not know at all, then later I got an email that said I won it. I was very pleased with my score anyway so to be told I'm GB champion is absolutely fantastic. It's my highest achievement to date.'
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Andy first started when he was 14 years old, but after a break returned to the sport five years ago. His son joined him four years ago and together they train in Norwich and regularly in Surrey and Bedford.
Andy has represented Great Britain in Holland, Germany, Switzerland and Denmark, while Eddie has represented the England junior section.
Eddie said: 'I took to it straight away and really enjoyed it. My mates think it is really good and are really supportive.
'So much discipline in our sport, everyone is well trained and take it really seriously.'
Andy flies out to Germany soon to compete in his first international Olympic Rapid Fire match for Britain and further competitions coming up include the British Pistol Club Open, the English open and the Isle of Man Easter Open.
Even though the two represent their country they have to pay all of their travel, entry and accommodation costs. They also compete against people who have the opportunity to train much more regularly.
Eddie does get some support under the Lloyds TSB Local Heroes scheme – a programme that helps young sportspeople – but both are hoping that a local business can step forward to support them.
Andy said: 'There are a lot of sports that get money thrown at them as they are spectator sports, but shooting is not a particularly spectator-friendly sport.'
They admitted that they would love to take part in the Olympics, but London 2012 might come too soon for them. The two also compete in the rapid fire and free pistol classes, and Andy has been running air rifle shooting as a scouting activity with the 5th Beccles Cubs and a county-wide competition for all members of the Scout Association.