Old Oakhamians selected to shoot for team GB

Two Old Oakhamians have been selected to represent Great Britain at the World Championships of Full-Bore Shooting.  Matthew Button (88) and Rick Shouler (95), who both honed their shooting skills during their time at Oakham, have been announced as part of the GB ‘Palma’ squad of ten. 

“It’s both impressive and a real honour to have two Old Oakhamians make this elite team,” says Headmaster Nigel Lashbrook.  “It is a testament to their shooting prowess that they have both been selected to represent the Great Britain Palma squad and everyone at Oakham wishes them the very best of luck in the competition.” 

The World Championships is the pinnacle of the sport, with the competition only coming around every four years, each time hosted by a different country.  Rick and Matthew will be a part of the World Championship tour which takes place between 19 January and 11 February in New Zealand. The match itself, when they will be shooting at 300 to 1000 yards, is on the 9 and 10 of February on the Trentham ranges, just north of Wellington. 

This is the second time Matthew has been selected to compete in this Championship, having shot at Bisley in 2003.  This will be the first time Rick has been selected for the Palma Squad, having won a reserve position for a number of years previously.  Both regularly shoot for England and team GB, and their shooting has taken them around the globe to Kenya, Namibia and South Africa (Matthew) and Canada, Channel Islands and South Africa (Rick). 

Whilst Matthew and Rick weren’t at Oakham at the same time, they have shot together since, notably at the Malvern Cup when they represented Oakham along with three current students.  During his time at Oakham, Mathew was a part of our winning Ashburton Shield team, which is the highest accolade in school shooting.  His shooting still ranks as some of the best that Oakham has seen, achieving the highest possible score at the competition (70 out of 70).  Whilst Rick was at Oakham he came 3rd in the Schools meeting for overall individual aggregate. His most recent success was captaining the NRA tour in which a record score of 1195 was set. 

“We’ll be following their progress throughout the competition,” says Mr Iain Reeves, Master in Charge of Shooting at Oakham. “They are both a real inspiration to our current students who take part in shooting at the School - as they can tangibly see just how far they can take the sport, if they too put the practice and dedication in to their training.”

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