Photographs by Lee Webb
Sports student Katie Robbins is looking to build a career as a professional athlete after winning the Target Sprint National Final 2017.
Katie, who won the junior women’s category, is new to Target Sprint, an international sport which combines running with shooting.
Race participants alternate between running and shooting, running 400 metres three times and shooting five targets twice.
Level 3 sports student Katie is in her first year at Bath College and also trains with Sedgemoor Training, Yate Athletics Club and Lodge Sports.
The competition was her first national competition since she started learning to shoot and training for Target Sprint in March.
Katie said: “It’s a new sport, they do it in other countries and it’s been introduced in England in the past year or so.
“I train at Yate Athletics Club and we had a coach from Target Sprint watching, and he picked a few of us for a training day.
“I went to the training day, to have a go at shooting, and somehow I could do it – I had a natural talent for it.
“I’m used to athletics competitions, I run 300 metres in the county competitions and I’ve done a few Target Spring competitions, but this was my first national competition.
“I was really pleased to win. I wanted to try my best, I was hoping to get third or fourth, so to win it was quite a shock.”
Over 70 athletes from across the country took part in the Target Sprint National Final, held in Yate on September 9.
The sport is growing in the UK, which is good news for Katie, who is hoping it will be included in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Katie, from Bristol, is looking for sponsorship to help her with kit and travelling as she prepares to trial for the World Championships next year.
She’s also attending a Team GB selection day on October 8, where GB coaches will select juniors and seniors for further training.
Katie said: “I’m enjoying the chance to study at college and continue my education alongside my athletics training.
“I always wanted to stay in sport and develop, but I didn’t think about shooting – somehow I just got into it. The fact that I’m doing shooting as well as running is fun. It’s a challenge and it’s something different.
“It’s going well at college and I’m finding it interesting. At the moment we’re studying sports psychology, anatomy and physiology, team sports, fitness testing and fitness training.
“It gives me time to think about what I’m doing as an athlete before I put it into practice.”