St Helena Shooters Off To The Small Island Games, Gotland 2017
GIRLS WITH GUNS ON A MISSION | Darrin Henry
Packing three high-tech rifles between them, female target shooters Madolyn Andrews and Jodie Scipio-Constantine are making the epic journey from St Helena to compete at the Small Island Games 2017 on the Swedish island of Gotland.
Both young ladies have trained hard for this and hopes are high all round for a good showing when the games begin on 24 June. Their unassuming demeanour hides the steely focus they possess in order to excel in this sport. Both attended the previous Small Island Games held on the channel island of Jersey, 2015. Madolyn also competed in Glasgow, Scotland at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
The Small Island Games, Gotland 2017
Madolyn and Jodie will be taking part in 0.22 calibre rifle, 50m and 100 yard prone singles, and also joining forces for the same events in doubles.
In addition Madolyn will shoot in the 3P event which tests the shooter’s ability in kneeling, standing and prone firing positions, hence 3P. Jodie’s extra event is the 10m air rifle.
“I’ll be the first female St Helenian to compete in [air rifle],” says Jodie, explaining she was inspired by watching fellow Saint shooter, Simon Henry, competing at Jersey 2015.
“Air rifle is a bit more challenging for me,” says Jodie who has less than a year under her belt with this new discipline. “When you do prone you’re just lying there; when you do air rifle you’re standing, it’s a bit more technical.”
“I’m looking forward to the pairs,” Madolyn says, “50m because me and Jodie we’re quite strong in our prone. I hope to achieve medals; I think we can achieve it if we put our minds to it. As I said, pairs are our strong suit. But I will also try my best in 3P.”
On board the RMS St Helena, travelling five bumpy days to Cape Town in order to catch a flight to Sweden, the St Helena team have plenty of time to ponder the competition ahead. Very nervous yet very excited are the emotions these young shooters describe feeling.
“I think I’m just going to wing it,” laughs Jodie when I ask what her game plan will be. “I’m going to go with the mindset that I’m here to do my best and to me it’s not about winning a medal; if I win a medal that’s just a bonus for me.”
“My plan is to keep fit,” replies Madolyn, “which has not happened on the ship! But as soon as we touch land now! My plan is just to be myself, be natural, focus and my scores will come.”
Also travelling with the team is another shooter, Carlos Yon; swimmer, Colby Thomas and sprinter, Sunna-Jan Thomas. Team managers are Pat Henry for shooting and Barbara Osborne for athletics. Damien O’Bey is the Chef de Mission.
The team will spend nine days in Cape Town, then fly to Sweden on 20 June. Joining them in Gotland will be shooter, Simon Henry and golfers Darren Henry and Malcolm Williams, all three live in the UK.
The Small Island Games, Gotland 2017 will take place from 24 – 30 June 2017.