KATE DIGWEED: THE FEMALE BOSS

There’s no question that George Digweed MBE is the most successful clay pigeon shot of all time, arguably the most successful sportsperson of all time. When you compare his 23 World titles to that of Mohammed Ali’s 3 World Heavyweight titles you begin to get a feel for the magnitude of Georges success.

As the old saying goes though, behind every great man there stands a great woman and George is no exception. We caught up with tall, smartly dressed, blonde and ever so friendly Kate Digweed on Sunday at the World English Sporting Championships where we joined her to watch the nail-biting shoot off that saw her husband clock up his 23rd World title.

That was nail biting Kate, do you get nervous when you watch George shoot?

“Shoot offs for any partner are very hard to watch I think. There is nothing you can do or say, and the more shoot off’s I see George in the more nervous I get. You would think by now I would have nerves of steel, but I think my nerves are more shredded now than when we first got together many moons ago!!”

What is your proudest moment to date?

“There are many proud moments to date, but probably the one that really sticks in my small brain was when he was awarded his MBE for services to shooting and to charity. It was my 40th the day before and we had a table for dinner with close friends at the Ritz, stayed at The Goring Hotel and then George, myself and George’s Mum and my Mum went to the Palace. It was amazing. We had front row seats, and I confess that there was a tear or two when George was awarded his medal. The Queen is just awesome, she stood for an hour and a half and spoke to everyone. I so admire her, so for her to present George his MBE was something very special. I am so pleased George’s charity work was recognised as well, as not many people realise how much he does for so many charities throughout the year.”

Do you have any top tips for WAGS to keep their men on top form?

“Top tips for WAGs?… That is a tough one as I think I am too old to be a WAG – I am just labelled ‘George’s wife’! I think just being supportive, saying the right things at the right time and not giving too much advice on their shooting is a good way forward! George and I have been married for nearly 20 years and we have seen many ‘WAGs’ come and go!”

Are there any perks to being the wife of a 23 time World Champion?

“I have been very lucky to have met some fabulous people, travelled to many, many countries and enjoyed the sport to its maximum. Everyone always wants a ‘piece’ of George and sometimes a ‘quiet dinner’ will turn out to be 10 or 12 people wanting to join us, and it’s like ‘question time’ at the table as everyone is picking his brains! That said however, the friends we have made on the way have been incredible and will be friends for life, even when George hangs up his boots (whenever that will be!!)”

Do you ever get the chance to go shooting?

“I have shot a couple of charity events this year and really enjoyed it. I don’t shoot very much at all as it is very hard having the surname ‘Digweed’ as everyone expects you to hit everything! Also, I don’t want to devalue the name with my shooting prowess!!”

Is George a diva before a Major competition?

“George is pretty relaxed now before a major event, as long as he carries on as normal and nothing really upsets him, then he is fine. Travelling with guns can be a nightmare and a few ‘melt downs’ have happened at the airport when the guns have been lost, but generally George is pretty level headed and hopefully the Kate Digweed Travel Agency has not made too many errors!

I once managed to book us in to a hotel 300 miles away from the shooting ground! That wasn’t one of my best bookings! We checked in and out the same day then drove to another hotel (with the same name) about 10 miles from the shooting ground. That was a quiet journey as you can imagine!”

Is he grumpy if he loses?

“Sometimes the journey home can be a little quiet if George has not shot well, there is always a lot of thinking and analysing going on in his head. I do try to cheer him up, but have learned that taking all my clothes off and just wearing a seat belt does not have the desired effect anymore now I’m over 40!! Now THAT is a funny story!”

How do you celebrate a big win?

“Normally the shoots finish quite late, after prize giving, chatting to people and saying our goodbyes it is often well in to the night so there is never really any time to celebrate (or commiserate) after a shoot. George and I love a KFC, so if there is one open on the way home then we will stop and get a bargain bucket to share!”

How do you spend time when you’re not shooting?

“I love my race horses. George and I are poles apart on this sport! George only likes to win at whatever sport he’s doing – my horses don’t tend to have the same attitude! If one of my horses comes home second then I am over the moon, however George sees it as the ‘first loser’. Chris Gordon trains my horses in Winchester and he always dreads that George will come racing with me as he gives him a hard time. George doesn’t know how many horses I really have as I buy them all in the same colour – it has worked so far!”

How do you think we could encourage more women to take up shooting?

“It is really great to see women shooting and taking an active role in the sport we all love. Many shooting grounds now have really stepped up to encourage women to shoot. Having decent loos at the shooting ground is always good – us girls are not brilliant ‘behind trees’ as you boys are! I remember going to one shooting ground many years ago and they had a horse trailer as the ladies loo!”

Will you be joining us at a Femmes Fatale event soon?

“A Femmes Fatales event sounds fabulous as long as I don’t have to bake anything for the day and bring it with me – food poisoning at a shooting ground is never a good thing, especially if there’s a horse trailer in situ! I might enter as Kate Smith though just so people don’t expect me to hit any clays!”

We’d like to thank Kate for taking the time to speak with us at the World Championships and we very much look forward to seeing her cheering George on at the next major competition.

A Femmes Fatales event sounds fabulous as long as I don’t have to bake anything for the day and bring it with me.