Boost for social impact of shooting

A new scientific paper into the social, mental and wellbeing attributes of those who participate in game shooting has been highlighted as significant by the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC).

The new paper, published in the journal Ageing & Society, concludes that participation in shooting and shooting-related activities, such as beating and picking-up, results in a significantly better mental wellbeing than the national average.

The findings are derived from a PhD Thesis undertaken at the Institute for Social Innovation and Impact at the University of Northampton.

Items that scored high included reduced loneliness, strong identity a sense of purpose, social support networks, physical exercise, spending time in nature and a strong rural and/or cultural heritage.

The findings were linked to age, with older generations benefiting more from the physical and social side of shooting. The authors also concluded that shooting aided the wider society, as those with a better physical condition and mental wellbeing would be less of a burden on the public health service.

Dr Conor O’Gorman, BASC’s head of campaigns and policy, said: “This paper reinforces in science what is blindingly obvious to those who take part in shooting activities. Getting outdoors in a social and communal atmosphere is significant not just physically but mentally.

“The savings to our already over-burdened NHS from the health and wellbeing benefits of shooting activities are considerable.

“The paper talks about how the shooting community shares a social status in a way that transcends traditional socio-economic boundaries. As the authors state, these findings need to be taken into consideration when policy on game shooting is being considered.”

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