Leeds mum on target after qualifying for Scottish National Skeet Shooting team

Wendy Taylor with her coach, multiple World Skeet Champion David Beardsmore.
Wendy Taylor with her coach, multiple World Skeet Champion David Beardsmore.
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A dream has come true for a Leeds who has overcome an injury to qualify for the Scottish National Skeet Shooting Team.

Wendy Taylor, 59, a deputy theatre manager at Spire Leeds Hospital, was forced to stop clay pigeon shooting after she injured her shoulder in a fall in 2012.

The pain became so bad she struggled to sleep at night and normal day-to-day activities were challenging.

During clay pigeon shooting it became difficult for her to lift her gun and on one occasion she had to stop halfway through a competition.

Then, after undergoing surgery later that year came a slow and steady build up and a return to shooting under the watchful eye of her coach.

Qualifying for the team is particularly important to Scottish born Wendy as she competed at national level representing Scotland three years ago.

She was also on the Yorkshire Ladies Skeet Shooting Team, which won the British Championship in 2011.

“It’s great to think that from that having suffered my shoulder injury three years ago, I’m now in the Scottish team and I’ll be representing my country at the Home International in Northern Ireland in two weeks time.

"It could all have been quite different. I am so thankful to Roger Hackney Orthopaedic consultant and Spire Hospital for getting me back to competition level and also my coach David Beardsmore for his excellent tuition and encouragement.

"It’s a great sport and I love it. I’ve been working really hard towards it and some of the ladies I competed against are of a very high standard.”

Wendy, who has two grown children and two stepchildren and is married to the British singer/songwriter Allan Taylor, first had her interest sparked in skeet shooting when she watched a television programme about the sport in 2005

Her husband bought her a shooting lesson for her birthday and she found she had a natural talent for the sport. She honed her skills with hours of practice and started competing nine years ago.

“I really enjoy it. It’s a very difficult discipline and very precise so it focuses the mind. Seeing the clays break is very satisfying. You need a bit of strength to shoot 100 targets so I try to keep fit with regular visits to the gym,” said Wendy who practices twice a week.

Wendy underwent surgery in 2013 under the care of Roger Hackney, consultant orthopaedic surgeon at Spire Leeds Hospital, with a special interest in rotator cuff tears, shoulder surgery and sports trauma surgery.*

Mr Hackney said, “Wendy was struggling at work and with her sport.

"By the time she progressed to having the operation the damage to the tendon had developed into a full thickness tear of significant size. She was offered arthroscopic (keyhole) surgery called sub acromial decompression (SAD) plus repair of the rotator cuff. The procedure involved removing the bursa (a small fluid-filled sack that helps reduce friction between bones) and shaving some bone from the roof of the shoulder. The tendon was pulled back onto the bone, from which it had become detached, using little metal anchors buried in the bone.

“It’s particularly important for her to regain full use of motion in her shoulder for her clay pigeon shooting interest. Wendy has made a full recovery and regained power and range of motion. She is able to work at full capacity, including occasionally assisting me performing shoulder surgery, which can be quite demanding. More importantly she has got back to her clay shooting and is once again able to represent Scotland in national competition.”

“The surgery was successful and I’ve not had a minutes trouble from my shoulder since,” said Wendy.

When she started shooting again, Wendy needed a new gun to be custom fitted with revisions to the recoil to help take pressure off her shoulder.

“I built up slowly and got my strength back over nine months to get my scores back up,” she said.

Wendy, who is due to retire later this year, plans to devote more time to her sport and is currently being coached by multiple World Skeet Champion David Beardsmore. “Skeet shooting is becoming more popular among women and it’s good to see a lot of younger women coming up the ranks. I really enjoy it and I like the challenge of setting personal goals to aim for.

“I hope I will carry on and still be shooting in my 70’s if I keep my fitness levels up and my eyesight remains sharp.”

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