Uckfield-based champion shooter Mick Kirby is being sponsored by TR Fastenings in clay pigeon shooting competitions across the UK and internationally during 2015/6.
Mick, aged 56, suffered a serious stroke eight years ago and never regained practical use of his left arm but this did not deter him from re-igniting his passion for shooting and achieving competitive success.
Mick was naturally left-handed and had to retrain to shoot with his right arm but overcame his physical setback and now shoots competitively nationally. He has competed in Italy and hopes to compete in the USA next year.
Mick has chosen not to have any allowances made for speed in competitions, despite being a fraction slower than other shots and has gone on to win first, second and third places against able-bodied shots in Class C competitions.
His new adventure began after he contacted Sportability in 2009, a charity that provides sport and challenging pursuits for people with paralysis.
Mick said: “I am so grateful to the charity for helping me to access different physical activities and giving me the confidence to return to participative sport. Thank you also to Disabled Clay Target Shooting GB for enabling me to pursue my love of skeet shooting.”
David Heard, chief executive of Sportability said: “When Mick Kirby came to the first Sportability shooting event he was hesitant and perhaps even a bit reluctant to be involved. Having had a stroke and being left partially paralysed his apprehension was easy to understand. However, with some adjustments to his stance and some support he was able to not only shoot, but found he was actually quite good at it.
“This was the beginning of a whole new adventure. Mick now shoots in competitions throughout the UK and even Europe and has become a champion shooter. He has vividly demonstrated taking the ‘dis’ out of disability and become a formidable sports person. We are proud to be associated with Mick.”
Geoff Budd, TR’s Managing Director said: “Mick is a true inspiration and TR is delighted to be supporting such a talented and resilient individual. His positivity and achievements are a lesson to all of us that nothing is impossible if you put your mind to it. We wish him continued success.”
Read more about Mick Kirby here: Doors open for Uckfield disabled sportsman.
• TR Fastenings also sponsors Newick Cricket Club and has announced its continued support through the 2015 season.