East Anglia RFCA supports reservist selected for UK Armed Forces Rifle Team

UK Armed Forces Shooting team in South Africa

“Being selected for the first combined forces overseas tour in 20 years, after only a year and a half with the Army Target Rifle club, was an immense honor,” said Private Nyree Barnes, a reservist from 201 Sqn, 158 Regt RLC in our Bedford Army Reserve Centre.

Private Barnes was chosen for a team of only 15 Regular and Reservist shooters from all three single Services. The team competed in the prestigious South African Open Championships and the World Long Range Championships, where they stood shoulder to shoulder with the world’s finest marksmen.

While the tour was supported by some sponsorship and military funding, there remained a financial commitment for individuals to secure their place. Nyree requested support from East Anglia RFCA to assist her with covering the costs associated with participation in the tournament, such as transport and accommodation. Deputy Chief Executive Alison Falcon said: “You are one of only two soldiers in the team at Private rank, so you should be really proud of yourself!”

Private Barnes recounted: “Stepping into my first international tour, I found myself amidst a team with a diverse range of experience levels. Adapting to a new range and grappling with vastly different conditions, battling fierce winds and temperatures often exceeding 35 degrees Celsius proved to be a formidable challenge. However, each day presented an invaluable opportunity for growth and improvement.”

Nyree recently graduated from Cardiff Metropolitan University with a degree in Sport Management and joined the Army Reserve. Her civilian career is in its infancy but she said: “This experience has given me so much confidence; I can stand my ground competing against the best shooters in the world, working with a great team…it feels like anything is achievable.”

Despite the formidable competition, the team achieved notable individual success. They also competed team matches, alongside some of the international touring teams, working together to develop their team match skills, achieving great results. 

Nyree said: “It is honour to be part of such a distinguished team and I greatly appreciate the support of East Anglia RFCA. It was great experience and I’m looking forward to developing my shooting over the upcoming season back in the UK.”

More photos and updates from the UK Armed Forces team can be found on their instagram page. Private Barnes is now back in the UK and training with 201 Sqn, 158 Regt RLC in our Bedford Army Reserve Centre. 201 Squadron are currently recruiting reservists to train as Drivers with them in Bedford.

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