Wales on target for glory

First Minister Carwyn Jones has welcomed the news that Wales' Commonwealth Games shooting contenders will now be able to train at South Wales Police firearms range in Bridgend.

Until now Wales' Commonwealth Games and European Championships small bore rifle and air weapons team, have been travelling to Europe to train. But now they are able to use the South Wales Police firearms range at Waterton Cross, Bridgend, in the build up to both the Games in Dehli in October, 2010 and European Championships in Norway in March.

The Welsh Assembly Government has led negotiations with the Sports Council for Wales and the Welsh Target Shooting Federation and worked closely with South Wales Police to allow the use of the range.

Speaking during a visit to the range, the First Minister said: "Allowing Welsh and British Athletes preparing for the Commonwealth Games to access the South Wales Police shooting range here in Bridgend will make a real difference to their training.

"After being forced to travel all the way to Europe in the past, having somewhere much closer to home will cut down their time spent travelling and give them more time to focus on training for the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi. Hopefully, this will help nurture our talent and produce more medallists!"

South Wales Police Chief Constable Peter Vaughan said:

"We are happy to be supporting our Commonwealth Games sporting stars and our Olympic hopefuls.

"We have worked closely with the Welsh Assembly Government which has led negotiations with the Sports Council for Wales and the Welsh Target Shooting Federation.

"Until now the teams have been flying abroad to train.

"They will now be able to use our range during periods when officers are not training, roughly every other weekend, giving them more time to prepare."

Huw Jones, Chief Executive of the Sports Council of Wales said: "2010 is set to be a big year for shooting in Wales. With the Commonwealth Games just around the corner, it's vital that our elite athletes get the best possible opportunity to succeed on the world stage and the Sports Council is delighted to be able to support them in their quest for medal success."

Commonwealth shooting champion and Gold medallist David Phelps was among the members of the Welsh Target Shooting Federation training at the site. Members of the Commonwealth Games and European Championships teams also visited the range.