Didcot marksman Dan Rivers is targeting a place on the podium at his first Commonwealth Games this summer in Glasgow.
The 23-year-old begins his campaign a week today after being selected in England’s team for the small-bore rifle.
It will see the Wantage Target Shooting Club member compete in three categories – air rifle, prone and three position – at the Barry Buddon Shooting Range in Carnoustie.
While it is his debut at an event of this magnitude, Rivers is quietly confident.
“It’s my first major multi-sport event as a senior and it’s the biggest thing I’ve done so far,” he said.
“I hope to make it bigger by making a final and possibly getting on the podium, so that would be great.
“I don’t want to jinx anything by saying what the full potential is.
“The main goal for me is to make the finals and then from there it’s anyone’s game.
“I love the finals and I’ve done well in them in the past, so I’m looking forward to that challenge.”
Managing an elite sporting career alongside a full-time job as a mechanic is no easy task.
But Rivers also has the unenviable challenge of funding it all, especially some long haul trips to compete in the World Cup Series.
“When you’re trying to manage work, training and competitions as well as your social life it can get pretty cluttered,” he said.
“If you want to get to the top you’ve got to make a few sacrifices and you’ve got to be dedicated towards it, which I am.
“I still enjoy it and love it and if you do that it’s not hard work. But as for funding, it has been a bit of a struggle.
“Sport Aid have funded me this year with GLL Sports Funds, so they’ve helped with a grant.
“But it’s not the easiest sport to promote, I suppose because of some people’s perceptions, which are difficult to change.”
But after all the hard work he has put in since taking up the sport aged 13, Rivers said it was extremely gratifying to be asked to represent his country.
He said: “Every time I get the call-up to compete for my nation is a great feeling.
“I’m very proud to be able to do it, because a lot of people look up to athletes that represent their country.
“It’s a very proud thing to be able to represent your country. I love it.”
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