COMMONWEALTH GAMES: Chance encounter set Rivers on course

Dan Rivers has his sights set on a final spot at Glasgow 2014

Dan Rivers has his sights set on a final spot at Glasgow 2014

First published in Sport

WHEN Dan Rivers was first introduced to target shooting aged 13 at a fair with his grandad, he couldn’t have imagined it would one day lead to the Commonwealth Games, writes MATTHEW BRUCE.

That chance encounter encouraged Rivers to join Wantage Target Shooting Club, where he was soon at a high level, winning national titles and setting junior records along the way.

And on Friday he will compete in his first Commonwealth Games, representing England in Glasgow.

“If I’m honest, I never realised how far you can go in the sport,” he said.

“I thought it would be a hobby, but from there you can go to World Championships, Commonwealth Games and the next target will be the Olympic Games in Rio in two years’ time.

“It really does open up.”

Rivers will compete in the small-bore rifle, which has air rifle, prone and three position disciplines.

The 23-year-old mechanic is ranked second in the country in all three categories and has been putting in long hours to maximise his chances.

He said: “I've been really trying to up the hours and just get the time in on the range.

“It's just trying to get the time in, I know the quality of training is good, it's just trying to up it a bit more.

“Work have been really understanding with it, allowing me to have extra time off to go to training camps.

“I'm just trying to cram in every little bit now up until leaving for Glasgow.”

But although the Commonwealth Games will be the first time Rivers has competed at a major multi-sport event, he already has precious experience of the high-pressure environment after taking part in the Olympic Ambition programme in 2012.

And for Rivers, this year’s Commonwealth Games will bring him another step closer to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

He said: “The Ambition programme really does give you this ambition.

“It highlighted the athletes that had been in the programme before, where they got to in London and it really makes you realise that you can do it.

“From there I’ve just had the drive and desire to prove that I am good enough for the Commonwealth Games.

“It’s a massive platform in itself and it’s also the springboard to go up to the next level – to actually shoot for Great Britain at the Olympics.

“There’s no reason why I can’t go on to Rio and compete there myself, so after being selected for the Commonwealth Games it's just relief, joy and excitement at what's to come.”

SEE tomorrow’s Oxford Mail for a special interview with Dan Rivers and Ben Watson.

Latest Sport news

Oxford United fans' chat

Oxford Mail:

11:58am Monday 22nd December 2014

Have your say on the main talking points at Oxford United in our 60-minute interactive discussion for supporters.

VIDEO: Highlights from Oxford United's draw at Hartlepool United

Oxford Mail:

11:00am Monday 22nd December 2014

OXFORD United came from behind to draw 1-1 at Hartlepool United on Saturday.

Jake Wright says a point was all Oxford United deserved

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Monday 22nd December 2014

Jake Wright admitted a point was all Oxford United’s performance deserved as they took almost an hour to find their feet against basement side Hartlepool United.

RACING: Bradstock praises Flintham

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Monday 22nd December 2014

Mark Bradstock believes Ascot winner Flintham could be even better than his illustrious relatives Carruthers and Coneygree.

Danny Rose urges Oxford United to tighten up defence

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Monday 22nd December 2014

Danny Rose says Oxford United need to kick the habit of conceding the first goal in games after they again had to come from behind, drawing 1-1 at Hartlepool United.

Draw leaves Michael Appleton nonplussed

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Monday 22nd December 2014

Michael Appleton thinks only time will tell if Oxford United’s 1-1 draw at Hartlepool United was a good point or a missed opportunity.

FOOTBALL Didcot denied victory by ten-man visitors

Oxford Mail: Luke Carnell heads Abingdon United ahead during their shock 2-1 win against Sholing

8:00am Monday 22nd December 2014

Didcot Town extended their unbeaten run in Evo-Stik Southern League Division 1 South & West to 14 matches, but only after coming back two goals down at home to draw 2-2 with ten-man Bridgwater on Saturday.

FOOTBALL: Brave Banbury thwarted by late goal

Oxford Mail: football generic

8:00am Monday 22nd December 2014

Basement club Banbury gave Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division high-fliers Chesham a big fright before having to settle for a 1-1 draw.

Cook and McNish double up as North Leigh rout Wantage Town

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Monday 22nd December 2014

Jamie Cook and Callum McNish both scored twice as free-scoring North Leigh added to Wantage’s recent misery with a convincing 5-0 victory in Saturday’s Evo-Stik Southern League Division 1 South & West derby at Alfredian Park.

RESULTS: December 20-21

7:50am Monday 22nd December 2014

Oxford Mail: Ox Mail senior football wob

Comments

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree