An Olympic dream for a young student

Faye’s introduction to guns was through her Sunday job pushing the trap buttons for shooters at Greenfields Clay Ground. She asked for a shooting lesson to learn the basics of gun safety. “Because I did not come from a shooting family, guns were not something I was used to. When I had my first lesson I felt tentative, but I fired a shot and fell in love with shooting.” 

Lady shooter holding a sporting shotgun during a shooting competition
Faye at her first registered Olympic Skeet event on June 2017. Photo by Tony Smith.

Faye would shoot in her spare time, although she enjoyed a discounted rate on clays and cartridges, she could not shoot as often as she wanted due to the expense.

When she was studying at University she left the job and started to spend more time shooting. “Shooting alone isn’t much fun so I used to shoot with one of my friends, we shot together for two years, romance blossomed, and we became a couple! It’s great to share an interest with your partner, and when we have free time, we’ll always go shooting together.”

A student and a shooter

Faye was shooting selection shoots for the county team and won the ladies place, she shot the Essex Masters and the Beretta Worlds but felt she never improved enough to start shooting the British Open, and continued to compete at a local level.

Lady shooter Faye Wills smiling during a shooting competition
Faye smiling for the camera at the British Shooting Coaching sessions at Nuthampstead. Photo by George Wills

The expensive nature of the sport meant she was not being able to progress as she hoped, Faye decided to stay away from the big competitions, preferring to shoot the local ones, with people she’d known for years. She shot some of her best scores; 64/70 and 60/70 in English Sporting and 21/25 in her first ever round of DTL.  She also took up English and NSSA Skeet.

Ladyshot Faye Wills on game shoot day
Faye taking a selfie on beaters’ day, pheasant and partridge shoot, at Stalisfield, January 2017.

Faye is studying for her Masters in Archaeology of Egypt and the Near East, “This academic year, I have been invited to join the UCL Elite Athlete Programme and compete for my university at the British Universities and Colleges Sports championship at the West Midlands Shooting Ground.”

“People closest to me understand how important my shooting is” said Faye. Her hectic workload of studying and shooting means the days often blend into one. During the shooting season, she enjoys beating on her local estate, “It’s a great day out, everyone has a laugh and it’s a lovely atmosphere, and we get to shoot on the three beaters’ days. I love it!”

Faye is looking for sponsorship.

Have a look at her shooting blog here.

Who is our author Linda Mellor?

Linda Mellor is one of Scotland’s foremost shooting, fishing and hunting female writers and photographers. She is the product Ambassador for Venator Pro, a premier hunting company and stockist of the European brand Hillman. With a lifetime of countryside experience, Linda’s passion, enthusiasm and respect for the outdoors and hunting is explored and shared across her writing and photography. 

For more information on Linda Mellor, please visit Linda Mellor's website, Twitter (LindaMellor) and instagram (linda_mellor).