The Calvert Sporting Team

Calvert Sporting, based in Oxfordshire, offer impartial and bespoke services for novice and experienced shooters alike.  The team has many years of experience and knowledge of shooting of all types, and can offer assistance on a wide range of topics – from grouse shooting instruction, to gun fitting, to ‘what to wear’.

Adam Calvert   //   Director & Shooting Instructor

Adam has a proven track record over a number of years, working at the highest level in helping shooters achieve their personal goals and beyond. Instructing in-field an average of 90 days per season.  Adam shares his insight on shooting skills and offers advice through regular contributions and articles, and in particular through his Shooting Advice – Expert Tuition column in the Shooting Gazzette.

Adam has a well-deserved reputation for both preparing, and supporting clients in-field for the challenges of grouse shooting. But it’s not all about grouse, Adam also works with clients who want to take on other quarry such as partridge and pheasant, and in particular extreme high bird shooting.   Adam instructs on a worldwide basis, from partridges in Spain to doves in Argentina.

Adam’s shooting career started as a five year old… shooting the pegs off the washing line at home with an air rifle (much to his mother’s annoyance!)

Largely encouraged by his father (who was himself a hugely enthusiastic and dedicated shooter), he quickly progressed, shooting his first pigeon at the age of seven with a Westley Richards single barrel .410.  His first pheasant came a year later, on his father’s local syndicate which he attended religiously for the whole of his childhood and teenage years.

As a farmer’s son, his youth was spent roaming the fields and woods, shooting pigeons and rabbits, whilst gaining a unique knowledge of field craft, the countryside and its wildlife – something which he still calls upon today.  At the same time, he honed his shooting skills on a small shooting ground which his father ran at home, which quickly led to him shooting competitive clays by the age of 13 and winning numerous junior titles along the way.

After gaining his degree in Land Management from the Royal Agricultural College, he was then propelled into the world of Estate Management with a focus on game shooting and running large sporting estates.  This allowed him to shoot a large number of days in addition to hosting and running his own shoots.

In 2007, Adam joined E J Churchill as their Chief Instructor, and very quickly took responsibility for managing the Shooting Ground, leading and training the team of instructors and managing the Gunroom, in addition to taking an extremely active role in running the Sporting Agency.

In 2013, Adam started his own venture offering game shooting instruction and in-field instruction.  Adam now works on a one-to-one basis with beginners, improvers and seasoned shooters alike, helping you to ensure that you are shooting to the best of your ability.  Read more about Shooting Instruction, or contact us to make a booking.

Penny Calvert   //   Director & Shoot Administration

Penny is a Director of Calvert Sporting and an integral part of the team with responsibility for the operational running of the business.  This covers a wide range of key tasks from the range of back-office functions, managing the day to day bookings whether that is for lessons, infield instruction or gun fitting, dealing within logistics for imports/exports or arranging specialist gun collection and delivery for clients.

One of the essential roles Penny covers is the sporting office.  There are many moving parts to organising a sporting season not just for Calvert sporting; coordinating who needs to be where and when and with what, but also covering this on behalf of clients.  Penny works directly with clients or their representatives to organise their sporting arrangements such as Visitor Permits, accommodation, instructors, loaders, equipment, cartridges etc and does this throughout the season.

It is this ability to cover as much or as little as the client needs, and solving problems and challenges for clients that Penny believes sets Calvert Sporting apart in the market.  Whatever the challenge or requirement Penny, and Calvert Sporting will work with you to meet your requirements.

Penny is a keen shot, and makes every effort to shoot a few days during the game season and in the summer on simulated days. This means she understands what is involved in shooting, and in particular what is involved in a days’ game shooting.  She also enjoys working her cocker spaniels on numerous local shoots ably assisted by their young daughter, Anna.

Matt Smith   //   Shooting Instructor & Gunroom

Originally from the Yorkshire Dales, Matt grew up on the doorstep of many of the country’s premier sporting estates which is where he spent his childhood keeping vermin in check, ambushing the local duck population, as well as spending time with his father and family friends on the local shooting syndicate. This where he made his early forays into driven game shooting, due to the location of Matts home it was only a matter of time before he undertook his first grouse day which became his real passion.

 It would be fair to say that shooting, and grouse shooting especially, was an instrumental part of Matt’s upbringing serving time as a Beater, Flanker, Picker-up, Gamekeeper and eventually Shoot Host and Loader/Instructor. 

This led Matt to study Countryside Management at Harper Adams University and it was during his placement year, that he first made contact with Sporting Agents Davis & Bowring and from here he continued his career into field sports as Shoot Host, Instructor and Logistics Manager. Matt was also a regular feature on the successful Harper Adams clay pigeon shooting team, during his free time it was not uncommon to find Matt in a pigeon hide or helping on local shoot days.

Matt joined the Calvert Sporting team and quickly took control as Gunroom Manager and Instructor where he is well placed to match clients to their new purchases and ensure a well-fitted, reliable gun. Matt also applies his in-depth knowledge of field sports when instructing clients whether they be novice or experienced both in and out of the shooting field.

Life in Oxfordshire sees Matt immersed in the shooting world,  finding time outside of work to shoot clay pigeons and wood pigeons, and also enjoys stalking the local Fallow, Roe and Muntjac population.

Darren East   //   Shooting Instructor and Sporting Consultant

As the son of a gamekeeper Darren was immersed into the shooting world from an early age. Rearing pheasants and partridges, controlling vermin, sat in a pigeon hide or fishing he was rarely to be found at home. Like most he started with an air-rifle and progressed to a .410, 20 bore and then a 12 bore. Darren grew up on the edge of the North York Moors near Helmsley, within a stone’s throw of some of the country’s most revered shoots such as Duncombe Park, Nawton Towers and Rievaulx where he cut his teeth as a beater and loader.

Darren studied Forestry at the University of Lancashire where he shot clays for the University team and upon graduating worked with the Forestry Commission in East Anglia. It was here that he forged his interest in Deer management and became a qualified stalker.

An Estate Management role as the Senior Rural Estate Manager with the Ministry of Defence covering multiple training areas across the North of England took him back to Yorkshire, and the grouse moors of the Yorkshire Dales in Swaledale and Wensleydale.

Along with more general estate management to support military training and the tenanted estate, Darren ran a 10 year project to regenerate Black grouse populations, managed a 3,000-acre moor shot over by a military syndicate and assisted the Game Conservancy Wader Project in the North East of England. A keen rifle shot, he controlled foxes across the MoD estate in Yorkshire and is experienced in the use of Thermal and Night Vision optics.

For many years he helped out at Marne Clay Shoot in North Yorkshire and worked with Army Cadets and Soldiers in teaching them to shoot clays as well as shooting sporting clays competitively across the country.

It was whilst in the Dales that Darren left the beating line and started loading on numerous grouse moors and pheasant shoots across Yorkshire and Durham and subsequently took on the role of shoot host.

Leaving the MoD after 14 years Darren then led the forestry offering for Savills UK in Yorkshire and the North of England, working with landowners across some of the most iconic shooting estates to create new woodlands and manage their existing woodlands to optimise forestry revenue whilst at the same time improving habitat and drives for improved game returns.

As an APSI instructor Darren has travelled across the UK and Europe to work in field with clients shooting grouse, pheasant and partridge and worked with the Calvert’s team as a freelance instructor for 2 years before joining them full-time in the spring of 2020 as a Shooting Consultant.

Casey Nield   //   Accounts

Born in Northern Ireland Casey’s  first love was horses, spending many years working in a variety of equine disciplines.  Casey studied accountancy and qualified as a mature student working for 15 years in industry and practice.

A casual conversation at the school gate led to discovering clay shooting as a hobby which in turn led to game and pigeon shooting.  Joining a local syndicate and helping the keeper broadened her interest and Casey took a part time keepers course with GCWT , building on an interest in the husbandry and presentation of a shoot.

A very keen cook ensures all game is welcomed in to the kitchen, referencing a large collection of cookbooks both old and new.

Casey has a collection of dogs but loves working her rescue spaniel, Rodney, at her local shoot.

Chris Cloke   //   Shotgun & Rifle Specialist

Born in Gloucester, Chris, a farmer’s son, spent 30 years working in the Cabinet Office and HM Treasury as a civil servant before taking early retirement in 2006. A former FITASC World Champion, he shot both Olympic and Universal trap for Great Britain in the 1980s.

In 2008 Chris was appointed Operations Director for British Shooting for the 2008 Beijing Olympics and is a former chairman of the British International Clay Target Shooting Federation board.  He then moved to E. J Churchill where he worked as Gunroom Manager for nearly 10 years, 5 of which he worked with Adam where they made a great team.

Adam and Chris have now reformed this relationship by Chris joining the Calvert Sporting Team as Shotgun and Rifle Specialist, this brings an unbeatable depth of knowledge in all areas of the gun and instructional world and the wider shooting industry. This depth of knowledge both in and out of the field results in the Calvert Sporting gunroom being ideally placed to supply you the correct gun and associated equipment for your needs.

Apart from being passionate about shooting, Chris’s other interests include Formula 1 and MotoGP.

Duncan Lawton   //   Part Time Shooting Instructor

Duncan is our most experienced team member, bringing with him a huge wealth of knowledge and experience – nothing phases Duncan! His experience means he exhibits a relaxed, calm and assured manner that instantly rubs off on his clients.  He is a popular choice with those who like his calm and reassuring nature.

Duncan has been involved with both clay and game shooting all his life, coming from a shooting family going back four generations.

He started competitive shooting at the age of 11 and won several national and county championships across the shooting disciplines.  He then qualified for the senior England Sporting team at the age of 16 and went on to represent England for a further 16 years, captaining the team three times.  During his competitive shooting career Duncan won European titles and multiple World Championship titles (being the first Brit to win the title).

He retired from serious competitive shooting in the mid 90’s and became more involved with the instructional side of the sport. Initially qualifying as a CPSA coach he began instructing in the early ’80s concentrating mainly on the corporate events, however, he now coaches all aspects of shooting from beginners to expert and also game shooters, accompanying them on shoot days if required.

Duncan is able to support clients with a range of shooting needs and is equally at home instructing on grouse moors, partridge shoots or high pheasant days.  A true all rounder with a great relaxed and nurturing coaching style.