International shooter and Team GB member Tony Atkins has, at the age of 72, just re-qualified as a national firearms instructor and range warden assessor, a job he has done for several decades.
Over the last three years Tony has qualified 23 members of three local clubs for their ‘Range Conducting Officers’ certificates and badges, though he’s helped hundreds of members at many clubs throughout his tenure.
He was made a honorary life member of the Burnley Rifle Club, commemorating 20 years of dedicated service to coaching and running competitions including the Lancashire Pistol Championships.
Tony was also presented with a trophy by the Colne Royal British Legion target club for the “utmost appreciation of his inspiration and encouragement to the other members of the club”.
Over the years Tony has represented Great Britain abroad on several occasions, bringing medals home, and won numerous X-class and Division One competitions at Bisley, the world-famous ranges, where he once shot seven highest possible scores and breaking records in the process with both full bore and small bore pistols.
With a total of more than 200 local, county, national and full international medals, Tony was also runner up in the Sportsman of the Year contest on three occasions, for outstanding achievement in local amateur sport, and has won nine Lancashire Championships.
“My new certificate will last for five years, I only hope that I do,” smiled Tony.