64 year old Port Elizabethan, Clive Taverner has been selected to represent South Africa at the clay target world championships in Ireland from 21st July.
While he has represented the country on three previous occasions, Taverner credits his selection this year in the face of strong competition to "teamwork" from an unlikely source....... his gardener, Bartholomew Edward.
"While I have been retired for 18 months now, I have increased my practice sessions, but this requires someone to accompany me to the range and to operate the target release system. That someone has been Bartholomew.''
"Not only does he attend all my practices and operates the equipment but he plays a motivational role .... urging me to consider every practice shot as a shot in the world championships final.''
"There is no doubt that my shooting and mental approach have benefited from his loyalty and positivity,'' Taverner said.
Bartholomew, 34 who is originally from Malawi has been working for the Taverner's for 2 years and says he is personally invested in his boss' success.
"I like to be a help to him and have an important job to play in his training and really hope he shows the world what he can do - because we have put a lot of hard work into the preparations.''
"I know that a person can only do in competition what that person has done in practice, so I always remind Clive to think of every practice as a final, where there is much more pressure.''
On a sporting front, Bartholomew himself was a keen soccer/football fan. “I played soccer at school and know gardening but shooting is another world,” Bartholomew says.
The Protea clay target team consists of six shooters, three from Gauteng north, and one each from Limpopo, Central Gauteng and the Eastern Cape, which has a rich history of producing shooters for the South African teams.
Clive retired from the retail motor trade 18 months ago and has been able to step up his practicing schedule starting with the national trials circuit which commenced in August last year.
Eight national trials take place across the country from Polakwane, Bloemfontein, Kimberley, Pretoria, Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban and PE.
He departs on Thursday 14th July for Ireland.
Last year another PE clay target club member Guiseppe Tagliaferri also made the Protea team which competed in the 2015 world championships in Bordeaux, France.
"We are very proud of Clive's achievements to again earn recognition at the highest possible level in the sport and keep the Eastern Cape flag flying", said Craig Killian the chairman of the PE clay target club.