Isle of Man Target Shooting Federation
Shooting's entry to the Commonwealth Games took place in 1966. The Games were held that year in Jamaica and Ted Corlett produced the best shooting result, finishing 9th in the 50 metre Prone Rifle event.
Medal success in Shooting, however, started in 1978 when the Games moved to Edmonton, Alberta. It came in the 50 metre Prone Rifle event when Stewart Watterson won Bronze. On that occasion medals were decided over the aggregate of two 60 shot matches, spread over two days.
While there was another eight years to wait for a further Commonwealth medal, Manx rifle shooting nevertheless received a boost three years after Edmonton when Peter Quirk won the Gold Medal in the 1981 Commonwealth Shooting Federation regional championships held in Scotland.
When the Games returned to Edinburgh in 1986, the Island's shooting sport enjoyed its first Commonwealth Gold Medal success. It came in the shotgun Skeet event, won by talented young Manxman Nigel Kelly. Nigel came out on top over a tense two-day event, beating into second place England’s Joe Neville, the man responsible for coaching him to an international standard of performance!
1994 saw the Games travel back to Canada, to Victoria, the capital of British Columbia. Though no medals were won, these Games were notable for Harry Creevy's performance in equalling the British record for 40 shots prone. He turned in a score of 399 ex 400 in the first stage of the 3 x 40 match. Harry also reached the final of the prone event that year, eventually finishing sixth.
The following year, 1995, saw the first Commonwealth Shooting Championships, organised by the National Rifle Association of India and staged in New Delhi. It also saw Double Gold Medal success for the Isle of Man with Stewart Watterson winning the individual 50 metre Prone Rifle event and then combining with Harry Creevy to repeat the exercise in the Prone Rifle Pairs. The achievement caused the Isle of Man to finish 7th in the medal table, ahead of countries such as Scotland, South Africa, New Zealand and Northern Ireland.
Two years further on and the Commonwealth Shooting Championships were held in Lankowi, Malaysia, as a test event for the following year's Commonwealth Games. Harry Creevy put the Island's name in the record books this time with a Bronze in the 50 metre Prone event.
It was the following year, 1998, however, that the Isle of Man won its very first Commonwealth Games Silver Medal. The Games were in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and the man in the spotlight this time was Dave Moore, who fought his way through a tense Final for 2nd place. Close behind Dave, securing his second successive 6th place, was Harry Creevy.
The next Commonwealth medal to come home to the Isle of Man was won again by Harry Creevy. This time at the 1999 Commonwealth Championships in Auckland, New Zealand, and the colour again was Bronze. The summer of 2002, however, did see Harry achieve his third successive Commonwealth Games 50 metre Prone Rifle Final in the Manchester/Bisley gathering. He finished 8th.
Moving on to Melbourne, Australia, and the 2006 Commonwealth Games. things were getting tense at the Lilydale shooting ground on the first day of competition with Australia, Canada and India eyeing up the medals. It was the Manx pairing of Trevor Boyles and David "Wilfy" Walton, however, who fired up Team Isle of Man by striding in and claiming Bronze in the Men's Trap pairs event, pushing India into 4th place.
It was the Island's first Trap medal and was to set the scene for the best ever Games when, two days later, Mark Cavendish was first across the line to take Gold on the cycling track in the Men's Scratch race.
This was first time the Isle of Man had secured two medals in a Commonwealth Games.
Stewart Watterson, +44 (0) 1624 823728, email@example.com