Eighteen-year-old Guy Franklin is proving to be something of a shooting star.
He milks his father’s cows, studies at university and then practises being one of the world’s top marksmen.
Now Brighton University is celebrating his achievements and his potential in its in-house magazine Channel as he makes the most of an elite sports scholarship to help with his travel costs.
Guy is Britain’s No 1 junior skeet clay pigeon shot and ranks fifth among seniors.
And while his sights are firmly set on a skeet shooting medal at the 2012 London Olympics, he is having to rely on friends and sponsors to keep him stocked with cartridges.
He said: “Clay pigeon shooting has had its National Lottery funding cut from £5 million to £250,000 – and this is an expensive sport.”
Guy has been awarded an elite sports scholarship by the University of Brighton where he is studying agriculture at Plumpton College. This has helped with his travel costs, although cartridges are an extra expense.
His mother Julie, speaking at their farm in Cuckfield, West Sussex, said: “If it wasn’t for the help Guy receives, there is no way he’d be where he is today.
“We are dairy farmers and by no means are we well off.”
The scholarship is worth £1,500 and also gives Guy access to expert help and support through the university.
She said a local pheasant and duck shoot syndicate had given Guy 10,000 cartridges and the local representative of an Italian cartridge supply company was letting Guy buy cartridges at cost.
She said: “He’s receiving tremendous help from his coach Dan Kerwood who runs a clay pigeon club.
“All these supports are keeping Guy up there.
“He loves the sport and it’s something he has been doing since he was a child.
“My husband Steve and I shoot and Guy learnt all the safety procedures at a very young age.”
Last year Guy became the only junior to win the British senior grand prix, and he has represented the country in both European and world championships.
He said: “The Lottery fund cut has had a real impact on us, and most competitors now, me included, are self funding.”
Guy is one of seven elite sportsmen and women, two of them disabled, to receive scholarships from the university.
Sarah Hogg, director of sport and recreation with the university’s Sport Brighton, said: “We play a key role in the development of talented athletes by providing financial, sports science and mentoring support.
“It is a valuable scheme which allows the potential medal winners of the future to more easily combine academic and sporting commitments and to achieve their goals.”
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