The early history of APSI

APSI was first mooted in June 1997 by a select group of leading professional shooting instructors and top level shooters, who felt they were not being represented by any existing association. At that time no shooting instructor association supported both clay and game shooting coaches.

An initial meeting took place in August 26, 1997 at Edge Hill SG. Those invited: Peter Croft, Ian Coley, John Bidwell, Arnie Palmer, Carl Bloxham, Andrew Harvison, Paul Bentley. Uninvited but still attended, Pamela Howe of Edge Hill SG, who made a valuable contribution! It was agreed that something new was required.

Further discussions took place at a second meeting (closed) in October, 1997, at Holland & Holland SG, with additional interested coaches invited.

Present: Trevor Scott, Ken Davies, Chrissie Alexander, Steve Denny, John Wells, Stuart Clark (Southampton), Les Bradley, Chris Darvell, Peter Croft, Paul Bentley, Carl Bloxham, Edward Watson, Pamela Howe, Johnny Johnson (CPSA)

The first Committee: Paul Bentley, John Wells, Peter Croft, Carl Bloxham, Pamela Howe.

At this meeting it was voted unanimously to form Association of Professional Shooting Instructors and APSI came into existence at that moment.

An unexpected schism developed at this time between those on the committee who believed APSI should be entirely clay orientated and those who thought it should be all inclusive, the latter being the original purpose. ‘All inclusive’ won the vote and Pamela Howe, John Wells and Carl Bloxham resigned at this point.

A third meeting (closed) took place in December 1997 at West London SG. Between meetings two and three Steve Denny, Michael Yardley (at Steve’s suggestion), Ken Davies and Edward Watson joined the committee.

A revised committee was elected: Paul Bentley, Peter Croft, Steve Denny, Edward Watson, Michael Yardley, Ken Davies

A set of articles were produced, safety tests implemented,

At the fourth meeting in January 1998 at West London SG APSI went ‘live’ but at this point we had yet to add Andy Harvison, one of the originals, to the committee. When the news about the new association spread APSI membership quickly rose to 80, which included some of the best known names in clay shooting and professional coaching.

The fifth meeting was held at West London SG in February 1998. Chris Miles attended this meeting, having joined APSI in January following a recommendation to the committee from Steve Denny.

The APSI Inaugural General Meeting was held at West Wycombe SG in March 1998, the Committee being:

Peter Croft, Steve Denny, Paul Bentley, Ken Davies, Edward Watson & Michael Yardley. It was here that Andrew Harvison and Chris Miles were announced as having been co-opted to the committee. With these two added this group remained the committee for some time.

After much thought and deliberation (it took four years!) the first 4-day coach training course took place 13 – 17 April, 2003, at Broomhills SG. It heralded the start of the now hugely popular APSI coaching courses which have been added to over the years and are still going strong to the present day.


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