The World Forum on the Future of Sport Shooting Activities made another presentation of the Sport Shooting Ambassador Award in March, 2003.
The award went to Sir Jackie Stewart of Scotland, the world-famous racing driver.
The Award goes to an outstanding individual whose efforts have promoted the shooting sports internationally (see below). It was presented by British Member of Parliament Kate Hoey, who spoke of the three major benefits of shooting – discipline, enjoyment and economic stimulus.
The three-time Formula One world champion was knighted in 2001. He has honorary doctorates from four universities and holds a place on the board of Jaguar Racing.
Linking shooting with progress in business, Sir Jackie conceived his annual Celebrity Shooting Competition at the Jackie Stewart Shooting School in Scotland. Through these endeavours, he has been able to raise sums of up to a million US dollars for charity in a single day.
In his acceptance speech, he said: “Shooting has played such an important part in my life. I’m the grandson of a gamekeeper. I was brought up with a gun and a fishing rod in my hand. I think it was one of the best character-building exercises. I could ever have had when I started to shoot clay pigeons competitively at the age of 14½.
“I shot until I was 23 years of age when I retired from shooting to take up motor racing. But in that time I had some of the highest moments of my life in sport”.
Sir Jackie, known for his continuing involvement in motor racing, went on to say that the biggest disappointment in his life was failing to gain a place by one lost target in the Rome Olympics of 1964.
He said: “But I think as I went through motor racing, I realized how important it was that my shooting had played such a formative role in my mindset, and my way of working, and my responsibility.
“I find it very disappointing today that there are so many people negative against shooting and against country life. If my wee country, Scotland, didn’t have deer stalking, grouse shooting, pheasant shooting, some partridge shooting, the economy of our country would be seriously upset. The hotels, the restaurants, all of the community who are ghillies or gamekeepers looking after the land would be lost, because there would be no income. And that would be the same in the North of England…” He went on to describe European countries equally dependent.
His acceptance speech included a plea to policymakers: “So whether it’s clay pigeon shooting such as I specialized in, or whether it’s game shooting which I still enjoy to this day, I hope that we can communicate not just to the politicians, but to the media, to be sure that they understand what we’re doing, understand the responsibilities that we have and the manner in which we carry them out. I’m still very much in love with the countryside and all it represents”.
Other recipients include Canadian Member of Parliament Garry Breitkreuz, Italian gunmaker Ugo Gussalli Beretta, and inaugural recipient, best-selling African author, Wilbur Smith.
This presentation is made to individuals selected for their contribution to the shooting sports.
The award is presented in Nuremberg, Germany, at IWA, the International Trade Fair for Hunting and Sporting Arms, Outdoor Articles and Accessories, where the WFSA has its Annual General Meeting. The World Forum’s Sport Shooting Ambassador Award consists of a solid silver reproduction of a Sixteenth Century pistol with its powder flask.