A STUDENT from Glyndwr University has been selected for the Welsh clay pigeon shooting team at this year’s Commonwealth Games.
Katie Cowell, 20, of Fron, near Coedpoeth, says she was close to tears when she found out she had been selected for a two-strong ladies team for the event in Glasgow.
Katie was one of only two women in Wales to post a qualifying score set by the Welsh Shooting Federation, which selects teams for major championships.
She achieved her qualifying score in the Olympic Trap discipline – 68 out of 75 – at the World Cup in Spain in July last year.
Katie will be making her Welsh debut at the Commonwealth Games, which begin on July 23.
“I couldn’t believe it when I found out just before Christmas. I didn’t expect to get in as I’d never shot in this discipline before last year. I was nearly in tears when they told me I’d been selected.”
Film and photography student Katie first started shooting at the age of 12 with her dad Royston, a former captain of the Wales clay shooting team. She is now busy preparing for the Games which involves a mix of shooting practise and gym work. In between all of this, she will be continuing with her studies.
Now into the second year of her degree, she recently started her own photography business which she is hoping to grow as she balances all three commitments.
As a recipient of a Glyndwr University sports scholarship, Katie has had financial support to enable her to compete at elite level while studying.
Support is also provided through free sports kit and access to fitness facilities and sports science expertise. This includes sports psychology, an area which Katie is hoping to work on with Glyndwr University’s sports science team in the build-up to the games.
Katie added: “I went to Spain, Germany, Malta and Peru last year to compete in major championships and I’m travelling across the UK all the time so it’s always challenging balancing shooting and studying.
“But tutors on my film and photography degree course have already been great about helping me with the build-up to the Commonwealth Games.”
Professor Michael Scott, vice-chancellor of Glyndwr, said he was proud the university will be represented at the Commonwealth Games.
He said: “I’m absolutely delighted for Katie, what a fantastic achievement. Our sports awards were set up to allow talented sports men and women to compete at the highest level while studying and it’s great that we are able to help out in some way.
“We wish her every success at the games.”