Gurkha Recruits Compete In Shooting Contest

The shooting competition culminated in the recruits competing against their instructors.

Gurkha recruits have competed in a shooting competition to reveal the 'top shot' of the 2020 intake.

The annual event at Wathgill Camp, North Yorkshire, went ahead as planned despite the cancellation of the Army’s famous shooting competition at Bisley due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The recruits had a reputation to uphold after Gurkhas made up 75% of the top 100 shooters in the entire British Army at the competition in Bisley last year.

Captain Bel Gurung, the Officer in Command for Army Operational Shooting Competition, has been shooting regularly at Bisley for the last 20 years and has also represented the Army internationally.

He said the shooting competition is "one of the biggest [events] in Gurkha Company’s calendar".

"We’ve got so many talented instructor[s] here and this is [our] duty to pass on… our strength and skills so that they will take forward and then be even better than us,” Capt Gurung said.

"It’s a passion and it has to come through your heart and mind."

The shooting competition culminated in the recruits competing against their instructors.

The competition was in three phases: a two-kilometre run carrying 25kg, advance to contact and finally, competing against the instructors.

8 Platoon claimed the Platoon Cup, with Training Rifleman Bishal Gurung crowned as top shot for the 2020 intake.

As a result, he was paraded around the area by his superior officers on a makeshift throne.

The recruits now have two remaining competitions before the end of their course, having completed formal training.

Training Rifleman Bhuwan Rai said he was "grateful and thankful" to the team who have guided the recruits through the training.

He added: "Before the nine months we were nothing, but after our training we will be something."

Major Rajesh Gurung, Officer Commanding Gurkha Company, said the competitions are important for the development of the recruits.

"Competition is all about enhancing the training," he told Forces News.

"If you ask the soldiers, let's say, 'let's go for a five-mile run', they'll probably say 'argh, that's another five miles'.

"But if you say it's a competition, their objective becomes completely different, their mindset is to win to that competition, so effectively, you're training soldier[s] without them knowing."