A local army cadet has been selected for the 2018 National Rifle Team. 15 year old Alexandre Fournier will head to Bisley, England next summer to compete with the British Cadet Rifle Team, national champions and Olympians.

The Charles Spencer student has been shooting for the past four years, and says it feels natural to him.

“[I like] just how calm of a sport it is. You lie down, you get into the mood, you do your own thing, and then you just kind of unload; I just think it’s a really good feeling to just pull the trigger and see everything recoil.”

Fournier began his three-year journey to the NRT with a three week air rifle course, from which he moved on to a six week course shooting smaller calibre rifles between 100 and 600 yards. Only the top 30 cadets move on, and the teen was ranked 32nd.

“I wasn’t supposed to go,” he explains, “but two people dropped out so I was able to go.”

It was at that point that Fournier says he realized making the national team was an achievable goal. He was selected as one of the top 18 in August, earning him a spot.

“This last summer just really surprised me when I started to win awards, and then I’m like, ‘I can do this! I can get first, right?'”

Although Fournier is technically on the team for an entire year, their season is condensed into eight weeks in the summer, including five to six in the U.K. and the remainder in Ottawa. Since he’ll have two more summers as a cadet after that experience, he says he’s looking into other specialized courses like the Maple Leaf Exchange, which would take him back to England, and the Canadian Forces Basic Parachutist Course.

Sergeant Alexandre Fournier at D-Coy Armouries in Grande Prairie, Erica Fisher