Introduction

During the late 1970s and early 1980s a number of Edinburgh University graduates who had been members of the University Rifle Club continued to shoot at the University range in the Pleasance Sports Centre. With the agreement of the Sports Union, they were permitted to join EURC as graduate members, and could shoot for club teams in competitions outwith the Scottish and British Universities competitions, which are restricted to fully matriculated undergraduates. This practise, if not common, was certainly followed by some other University sports clubs as well.

The advantages of this system were clear - especially in our sport with the issues of firearms licensing and range safety. The graduates were always available to advise the undergraduate committee, thus providing some continuity to the running of the club. Some also brought coaching skills, helping to raise standards so that, by the mid/late 1980s, not only was Edinburgh virtually unbeaten at Scottish and British University levels, but the best of the undergraduates were winning senior domestic championships. In addition, in competitions where the undergraduates could not raise sufficient numbers to enter teams, the inclusion of the graduates made this possible, with the result that the club affiliated to many local counties and leagues.

Towards the end of 1985 the Sports Union reviewed such arrangements and concluded that they were no longer appropriate. After some discussions with all interested parties, Edinburgh University Alumni Rifle Club was created. Its membership consisted of those graduates who had formerly been shooting for EURC, along with almost all of the active undergraduate membership of EURC. Confusion amongst the rest of the UK shooting community about the difference between the two clubs results in the shortening of the day to day name to E U Alumni.

From day one, membership of E U Alumni was open to undergraduates and graduates of Edinburgh University, with up to five graduates of other Universities permitted to join also. There is a constitutional requirement that one member of the Alumni committee must be a student member of EURC, the position generally being filled by the EURC Captain.

From 1986/7 the two clubs began to operate independently. EURC continued to support the Lothian and Home Guard leagues in addition to the inter-university competitions, while combined undergraduate and graduate teams entered under the Alumni banner in many of the other local county leagues and national competitions. Since then membership of Alumni has continued to be open to undergraduates and that option has been taken up by many over the years. Alumni members have helped coaching beginners, and - in some years - the EURC team as well as encouraging undergraduates to look beyond the inter-university competitions. This exposure to a higher level of competition is what has kept Edinburgh University at the top of the Scottish and British Universities rankings for so long.

A joint Range Committee, consisting of members from both the EURC and Alumni committees has operated with varying degrees of success, working with the Physical Education Department at the University to improve the facilities available to the members of both clubs.