The West

Losing job was trigger to glory

At an age when most girls were fixated with dolls, Laura Coles was learning about gun safety from father Glenn.

She would follow him to ranges to help reload during shooting practice.

A little more than 20 years later and Coles has become the deadeye in the family.

She is one of the best markswomen in the world after her gold medal at the Commonwealth Games.

Coles dominated the field to win the women's skeet at the Barry Buddon Centre at Carnoustie. It was just reward for the 27-year-old, who was unemployed for six months to concentrate on success in Glasgow.

"Until December last year, I was an exercise physiologist but unfortunately I lost my job, so this year I have just been shooting, which has been a blessing in disguise really," she said.

Coles grew up around firearms and ammunition when friends kicked footballs or built houses in Lego.

Although born in Perth and a resident of Hocking, Coles spent much of her childhood in the South West where there was ample opportunity to shoot.

"There have always been guns around the family," she said. "Dad has had guns since he was knee-high to a grasshopper.

"I even remember helping Dad reload shells at the age of three. It all started when my grandfather gave Dad his old trap gun. Rather than leaving the gun to sit in a cabinet, Dad decided to go to our local clay target club in Busselton and really enjoyed it.

"At that point I was shooting a little rifle, not competitively, but I was interested.

"When Dad went out I was curious, so I decided to give it a go but wasn't very good at all to start with and I don't know why I kept going."

Apart from aiming for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Coles wants to develop a corporate shooting and training business. "Our club does it but can't service the demand," she said.

The West Australian

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