Aiming High to Beat the Lows

We had the pleasure of meeting Laura Appleby (20) at the Femmes Fatales Cup last year after she’d previously attended one of our events in Yorkshire. Upon learning that she was a bit apprehensive about shooting in a competition (particularly as she was squadded with Commonwealth Gold medallist Charlotte Kerwood!) we were a slightly worried that her nerves might affect her score. She soon showed us there was no cause for concern though, stepping in to the cage to shoot, her confidence shone through and her natural ability was clear to see. 

Here she tells us all about how clay shooting has helped her overcome her issues with low self-esteem. It is simply wonderful to see how empowering the sport can be and we cannot thank Laura enough for being so courageous and sharing her inspirational story with us. 

“A little over a year ago a Femmes Fatales post appeared in my Facebook newsfeed. Instantly attracted by the empowering message behind the post, I found myself clicking the link to learn about the group and what it was all about. After browsing the website, I was really keen to have a go at clay shooting and attending one of the Femmes Fatales events near me. Although I was very enthusiastic about giving shooting a go and maybe taking up a new hobby, I had always been quiet and lacking in confidence and self-esteem due to experiencing some bullying throughout my life; as a result of this I found myself with a lack of focus and motivation.

With some encouragement from my family, I began to go along with my father to a local gun club. Then after attending the club for a few weeks I really began to enjoy shooting and felt like it would be something that I’d like to do on a regular basis, although I sometimes felt quite intimidated as I was often the only girl there.

After shooting for a few months and receiving support from the members of the gun club, I felt that my self-confidence was beginning to grow and that I would like to take my shooting further.

It was then that I booked to attend one of the Femmes Fatales events near me, I felt very anxious and nervous going by myself. However, as soon as I arrived it quickly became clear that I needn’t have been worried. Everyone was so friendly and supportive and made me feel instantly welcome. Attending and winning this event gave me the assurance to take the plunge and start shooting at my local CPSA registered ground, which enabled me to meet new friends who have the same focus and interests as me.”

A Blast of Self Confidence

“After a few more months of shooting at various grounds, I travelled from my home in Northumberland down to the Royal Berkshire Shooting School to shoot the first Femmes Fatales cup, which was such a fun day, and once again I felt very welcomed and supported by everyone there. I was chosen as the Femmes Fatales ‘One to Watch’ because of the potential I had shown during the shoot, this gave me a huge confidence boost.


Laura with Hannah Gibson, Becky Spicer & Charlotte Kerwood at the Femmes Fatales Cup

During the day I also had the opportunity to meet and shoot with some of the best female shots in the country including women who have represented Great Britain in the Commonwealth Games; this inspired me to have a go at shooting some more competitions and since then I haven’t looked back! I’ve gone on to win Ladies and Juniors Northumberland County Championships.

After taking up shooting and attending various Femmes Fatales events over the last year I have definitely found myself with a new focus and motivation, and feel that I have certainly gained a massive confidence boost due to finding a new hobby and meeting lots of new friends who are always so supportive are as passionate about the sport as I am.

I would absolutely encourage anyone who’s thinking about trying clay pigeon shooting to just go for it! Simply book a place at a Femmes Fatales event near you, even if you’re feeling a little nervous or apprehensive. Everyone is very friendly, encouraging and supportive and the atmosphere is always so relaxed.”

“Taking up clay shooting has enabled me to gain self-confidence in not only shooting but also in other aspects of my life and I definitely wish I had attended a Femmes Fatales day and began shooting a lot sooner!” – Laura Appleby

We cannot wait to welcome Laura back at Royal Berkshire Shooting School on 29th April for this year’s Femmes Fatales Cup – and we’re looking forward to meeting lots of new faces too. If you’ve been thinking about coming along, we hope Laura’s story will inspire you to just bite the bullet (excuse the pun!) and book a place!


Laura Appleby – Northumberland Ladies Champion

Experiencing a lack of self-confidence?

Here, the Being Me Campaign offer support to those struggling with low self-esteem issues. Through their website, workshops, social media channels & campaigns, they give everyone a voice to share their story just like Laura has done, and give advice to inspire others to be proud of who they are!

Aim High To Beat the Lows! Research shows that trying a new sport or activity (clay pigeon shooting, perhaps?) and setting yourself goals can help to beat low self esteem issues.