Army Shooter Reflects On 'Incredible' Year

Sergeant Sam Gowin has competed at a number of prestigious tournaments as part of his 2018 season.


Sergeant Sam Gowin has said that “some amazing things have happened” as he looked back on an impressive twelve months.

Sgt Gowin won a bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games in April and saw recognition for the result with an invitation to the BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards.

The Army shooter competed at both the World Cup and the World Championships during 2018.

Gowin explained that the World Cup showed him what sort of level he needs to be at to succeed.

He said: “At these events, there is a very high level. All the world’s best shooters will turn up so the competition’s standard is really high.

“I’m always being a student when I go to any competition really.

"You sit back and you watch all the other top shooters. You try and take notes from everything that they do. When it comes down to it for yourself, you just have to remember that it’s still you competing.

“I was pretty happy with my score [at the World Cup]. It was an average score for me which is good.

"If I went there and completely failed, that would have been a different story. I didn’t set the world alight with it but it was still average and I was very happy with that."

Sam Gowin
Sergeant Gowin's appearance at the World Cup in Munich was his debut at the event.

After one prestigious competition, another one soon followed as Gowin and his fellow shooters tackled the World Championships, which he called "a really cool experience".

“This is the biggest shooting competition you can go to in terms of the standard,” he said.

"There was over 1,100 athletes starting. It was a massive competition. The range was absolutely amazing.

"They call this range the best range in the world.

“It’s in Changwon, South Korea and it’s like walking into Grand Central station. Everything is made out of marble.”

“The competition itself was absolutely amazing and I was really happy with how I performed as well.

"I went there with the goal of training my mindset for competition because if you can do things at a competition like that and hold your own, you can will be fine later on.

“I was really happy with my outcome on that. I shot a new PB (personal best) out there by eleven points so it was a great result."

At the start of the year, Sergeant Gowin had never been selected on an international level, but he was called up to represent Great Britain in South Korea.

When discussing how he continues to perform at a high level, Gowin was quick to stress the importance of preparation as he explained his training schedule.

He said: “On a typical week, I would give six days to training solid. I would have one day as a rest day and I’ll be on the range all day if I’m doing this. If I’m not on the range, I’ll be planning my next training session.

“I meticulously plan my training sessions. I break them down from the yearly calendar to three-month training blocks, focusing on what sort of long-term goals I want to hit. Then I break it down further into two-week training cycles and then into daily training sessions.

“When I go on the range, I know exactly what I’m doing and I know exactly how I’m going to do it. I know exactly if I’ve achieved something. It takes hours to do this so if I’m not shooting, I’m planning my shooting."

For Gowin, it all started at the Commonwealth Games where he put in a strong performance.

He said: "Yeah that was an incredible time. It really was. I didn’t expect to come away with a bronze from that. It was such a brilliant experience and a lot was learnt as well.

"After that, things got pretty excited. I was putting in a lot of training into pre and post competition of Commonwealth Games as well.

"I went to my first World Cup and that was a big eye-opener. That was in Munich."