Top Shooter Wants Ambassadorship
As one of Jamaica's youngest marksmen to win five national shotgun championships, Shaun Barnes is calling on sponsorship and corporate support to help launch his passion, shooting, into a world-class career.
The shooter wants to be an ambassador for the sport and help bring recognition to his local colleagues, who he feels are not recognised enough.
"I am open to anyone in corporate Jamaica who is willing to help me with this, and they can be assured that they will be given 100 per cent," Barnes said.
"I think in order to go forward, I might need some assistance financially. Sponsorship is definitely one of the keys that will help me to broaden my perspective on shooting," he underlined.
Barnes won the elite national clay title; 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2016, despite taking the sport seriously 10 years ago.
"I am proud of all my accomplishments, starting from zero. I had nobody in my family who had a competitive shooting background, so to become a five-time national shooting champion is something huge for me," Barnes told The Gleaner.
This year, the reigning national champion wants to link up with top shooters in the United States to gain international experience.
He will be participating in the Caribbean Classic, Gator Cup and the World English Clay shooting tournaments between February and April, in that country.
"I am focusing a lot on sporting clays this year - just putting a lot of mental energy into that, at least the first half of the year, and then finish up
my season with retaining the finals for the National championships here in Jamaica," he outlined.
However, Barnes says he is nowhere near his peak.
"Right now, I don't feel I have tapped into 50 per cent of what I think I can do.
"When I finished everything last year, there was this feeling like I was just learning; my pre-shot routines, and mental preparations keep evolving," continued Barnes.
Barnes took home the Skeet Shooting Athlete of the Year Award for 2016 at the RJR Sports Foundation Sportsman and Sportswoman of the year awards, and he called it a great "feeling of accomplishment."
Meanwhile, Jamaica Skeet Club president, Khaleel Azan, while lauding Barnes, hopes the achievement will "motivate the girls as well as the younger boys in the sport."