Tim Kneale – RL360° Quantum Blog March 2016
Follow double-trap shooter Tim Kneale’s blog as he talks competition, the run up to the Olympics and our RL360° Quantum sponsorship.
Firstly hello to everyone
I grew up on the Isle of Man on a farm in the North of the Island where my parents reared cattle, sheep and grew potatoes. My brother and I often had to help from an early age which is possibly where a strong work ethic was developed. Although I would rather cook dinner than sort spuds after school!
My earliest experiences of shooting was with my father who I used to follow around the fields, he eventually gave me a go when I was aged around 12 I think and I was hooked. The Ayre Clay Pigeon Club is only 10 minutes from the farm and I used to work there at weekends working the manual traps but quickly progressed to the other end of the layouts and competed.
As a junior I shot every discipline available and was reasonable at most for my age, I think. Some of the older shooters used to complain about me beating them so I couldn’t have been too bad. At aged 16 I competed for the Isle of Man in a Home International event (between the home nations) in Northern Ireland. It was a great experience and showed me what a social sport shooting could be!
Shooting fell by the way side as I got a bit older and it wasn’t until a broken leg whilst playing rugby that things changed. It was just around the same time as the Ayres club installed an Olympic Trap layout which could also throw Olympic Double Trap. A few of the locals were trying to qualify for the Manchester Commonwealth Games and asked if I wanted to try out with them, unfortunately I never made the Commonwealth team but I did gain a spot on the Great Britain Juniors that year where we won Team Bronze at the World Championships in Finland.
It was a few years later in 2005 when I broke into the Great Britain Senior team and have shot nearly every year since for them. I had a year in Australia working and shooting where I finished top of the Australian rankings, much to the locals’ annoyance! I also have a Bronze medal from the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi.
In 2014, I had a memorable day at a World Cup event in Munich where everything came right and I set a new World Record of 148 out of 150, this is still the current record. Following that result I gained UK Sport and National Lottery funding which allowed me to resign from my job as an agricultural consultant in South West Scotland and focus on trying to get to the Olympic Games.
So I had packed in a good job, moved to the other end of the country and changed guns, the move also allowed me to be closer to my partner in Somerset and train. The funding at the time covered shooting costs and provided a small wage so I worked on a local dairy farm to boost my income. The year was a challenging one and started off with a bottom 4 finish at the first World Cup - the new gun wasn’t performing! However, after lots of head scratching my coach and I got back on track leading up to the World Championships in Lonato, Italy last September. I topped the qualification rounds with 142 out of 150 and managed to post the second highest score in the semi-final of the 6 shooters competing. This placed me in the Gold/Silver medal shoot-off but more importantly an Olympic Quota place for the Rio Olympic Games.
Team GB later awarded me the quota place as I had only won this for the country initially. This is a great feeling to be named in the team and know I can focus on the games with 5 months to go.
Monday 29 February was a great day where the official announcement of RL360’s support was announced to the media. A great turn out at the Ayres Club in cold and damp conditions with the Lieutenant Governor Adam Wood, David Cretney and David Kneeshaw all in attendance showing off their shooting skills.
This is an exciting time for myself running up to my first Olympic Games and also forming a partnership with RL360° Quantum.