Surrey’s Maya Naidu in a video posted to the ReelCausesTV channel on Youtube.

Surrey sharpshooter aims for big competition in England as Canada’s ‘top shot’ among cadets

Johnston Heights grad Maya Naidu, 17, humble about her skills with a rifle

A Surrey teen has her sight set on a big marksmanship competition in Bisley, England.

Maya Naidu, 17, travels there this week as the “top shot” in Canada among fellow cadets.

The recent Johnston Heights Secondary grad will spend four weeks in Bisley at the U.K. National Rifle Association’s 148th Imperial Meeting.

“It’s a massive event, one of the biggest in the world,” said Maya’s coach, Randy Bach. “Last year, I think there were close to 2,200 competitors.”

Among them this year is a humble Guildford-area girl who plans to study health sciences at SFU this fall.

“To meet her, you’d never know that she’s an extreme, you know, top-of-the-line shooter in this country,” Bach said.

“She’s one of the top shooters I’ve coached, certainly, and I’ve had other cadets over the years go to Bisley in the same program – several of them as a matter of fact,” he added.

To get to Bisley as part of an 18-cadet national rifle team, Maya out-shot her competition at national events held over the past two summers.

She started shooting rifles not long after she entered the cadet program, as a Grade 9 student in the fall of 2013.

“I started off with air-rifle practicing, but I was never the best or felt like I was really good,” Maya recalled. “I wasn’t a great shot immediately or anything like that.”

She joined cadets because she’d heard about it through friends, and her father, Avanash, was an air cadet.

“And I joined shooting because I just thought it’d be a cool thing to do,” Maya added. “I had to warm up to it a little, because it was pretty frustrating in the beginning. It’s not something you just know naturally. I had to learn a lot.”

Soon enough, she greatly improved her breathing, trigger control, alignment and other aspects of marksmanship.

“The big rifles I’ll be shooting in England, I only get to shoot those rifles in the summer, at a place called Connaught Ranges in Ottawa, Ontario, and this will be my third summer there,” Maya said. “I’m going to be there first and then to England, to practice with the big rifles, the full-bore rifles.… It’s known as full-bore marksmanship.”

The all-expenses-paid trip is Maya’s first to Europe.

“I’m super excited,” she enthused. “I’m in England for, like, four weeks, almost a month. It’s three weeks of shooting and one of touring, and also one day where we go over to France to visit Vimy Ridge.”

In Bisley, Bach says Maya should do well.

“She’s a very confident shooter but a quiet person, too – not flashy at all, and she goes about her business,” Bach said. “She’s extremely mentally tough, and that’s probably what makes her such a great shooter. I mean, this is open to both boys and girls in the cadet movement, and she competes head-to-head with them all, boys and girls. It’s not a physical sport, and really 95 per cent of it is a mental sport.”

tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

Just Posted

COMMUTER ALERT: Motorcycle crash on major thoroughfare sends one to hospital

Mounties are still on scene of an afternoon accident at 64th Avenue and 168th Street.

Man facing seven charges after alleged threats at Surrey restaurant

Surrey RCMP say incident at Whalley business was ‘very traumatic’ for customers and employees

Witchazel rocks again with CD of ‘Lost Tapes’ from band’s ’80s glory days

Surrey bar a stage for ‘Cancer Killer Rock Party’ on Aug. 30

Record turnout for Five Corners concert in White Rock

Abba/Elton John/Billy Joel salute attracts an estimated 4,500 people

Delta police secure 94 charges in dial-a-dope bust

Seven people with ties to the Red Scorpion gang are facing drug and firearm charges

VIDEO: Surrey to host Western Regional Quidditch Championship in 2019

The fictional game in the Harry Potter series has become popular around the world, with 600 athletes in Canada alone

RCMP to search for body after man drowns in B.C.’s Buntzen Lake

Officers and fire crews responded but the man from the Lower Mainland is believed to have drowned.

Police chiefs call for stricter controls on pill presses to fight opioids

Canada’s police chiefs are urging Ottawa to beef up its fight against the opioid scourge by closely vetting people who import pill presses

Hot, dry conditions forces drought rating to highest level on Vancouver Island

The province says Vancouver Island is under Stage 4 drought conditions

Victoria police say explicit calls continue to target women

Over 50 reports of unwanted, sexually explicit calls have come in

‘It’s like a party in your mouth’

B.C. creator’s Milkshake Burger makes its debut at the PNE

Get involved in the Great Canadian Bumble Bee Count

Environmental organization develops app to help with the nationwide count

Pesticides linked to bee deaths will be phased out in Canada, sources say

Neonicotinoids, or neonics, are a class of pesticides used by farmers and hobby gardeners alike

Most Read