“You are the future of Kent,” announced Peter Bromley, lifelong Kent county shooter and KCRA Treasurer, in a moment that reaffirmed to the Old Suttonians all that we had accomplished in the last three years.
2020 would have been a momentous year for OSRA, in which we had planned to enter a record number into the Kent Open, enter our first team into the Astor, and increase the number of Kent county representatives from the club. As we all know, 2020 did not go according to plan.
Fortunately, 2021 exceeded the original 2020 plan: we entered an incredible nine Old Suttonians into the Kent Open, which numbered a third of the full entry, as well as our first sponsored shooter, Daniel Wild, a current Sutton Valence School pupil; we entered a team into the Astor competition, a shoot in which Kent clubs compete for the right to represent Kent at the Imperial; and Chris Dale shot in both the KGV and the Inter-Counties, our third shooter to do so from the OSRA.
The Astor was a Queen’s 1 competition (2&7 at 300x, 500x, and 600x), held between two teams of six from OSRA and TAGEME, the latter formed from a number of talented Kent shooters. Having never shot in a competition as a team before, the aim of the match for the club was to practise team drills. This meant that we had a coach, Tom Fermor, a plotter, and two firers on the point at any one time.
So impressed was Chris Weeden, a Kent and GB shooter, by our team organisation that he said it compared with a GB team shooting in an international competition.
TAGEME ended up with 614.62, with two full scores of 105/105, while OSRA ended with 597.48, with special mention to Anthony Bromley, for his 103.12, and to Chris Dale, for his 103.7. This was an excellent performance for the club, especially against such a strong opposition; it bodes well for Astor competitions in future years.
Well done to the team of Anthony Bromley, Chris Youngman, Chris Pawlik, Chris Dale, Ted Ervine, and Freddie Pawlik, and to Tom Fermor as coach.
The Kent Open was a special occasion for the club for two reasons: we had a number of talented Old Suttonians who had now trained over the course of lockdown with good equipment ready for the match; and we had successfully sponsored a Suttonian through our Young Shooters’ Fund.
Overall, a number of Old Suttonians claimed prizes in the B Class, including Ted Ervine, Harry Percival and Chris Youngman, with a team of OS winning the ‘Tyro’ team competition. Freddie Pawlik, however, returned home laden with silverware, including the Rose Bowl and Kent Challenge Cup, winning the B Class overall. Freddie is the second such Pawlik to win these accolades, with his cousin, Chris, winning them in 2019.
Endnote: the Future of Kent Fullbore?
Peter Bromley’s praise of OSRA was genuine. For many years, Kent has struggled to put together a full team for inter-county competitions, as well as lacking larger numbers in its Open. OSRA is full of enthusiastic, talented, and young shooters, most of whom are eligible for Kent, and all of whom aspire to county-level shooting. A bright future for OSRA is a bright future for Kent.
It was with great pride that I captained the Astor team this year, shot beside Chris Dale in the Inter-Counties, and competed amongst so many Old Suttonians in the Kent Open. It is with such pride that I look forward to the future of OSRA, especially as the future of Kent.