Cadet on target at Bisley

Cadet Sniper

Philippe Asselin

He traded in his trumpet for a Fullbore rifle and now WO Philippe Asselin is making beautiful sounds on the shooting range.

“There are so many similarities; playing trumpet and shooting are both about breathing control and concentration,” says WO Asselin, a member of the Royal Canadian Army Cadets National Rifle Team (RCAC NRT).  “While it’s super important to hit the right notes in a wind instrument, for shooting you need to get your breathing right to get your site perfectly centered.”

That insight has helped the International Baccalaureate Grade 12 student at Esquimalt’s École Victor-Brodeur flourish as a competitive marksman.

WO Asselin returned from England’s prestigious Bisley Imperial Meeting (July 9 to 18) with a 7th place finish in the Chairman’s Final portion of the competition, competing against a pool of 500 shooters from around the world.

“I didn’t get too excited because you can’t get distracted with how well you are doing in this sport or it will throw you off entirely, and I still had more events to compete in,” says the cadet with the 2483 Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI).

Before his success on the shooting range, there was always music. He had been a band member since joining the cadets in 2012 and was awarded Most Proficient Musician in the 2483 PPCLI in both 2013 and 2014.

But the life-long fan of Dizzy Gillespie who describes his trumpet as an “old friend” decided to give up music before heading to Bisley.

“It was kind of heart breaking for me, but the music just took up too much of my time and I was no longer able to participate,” he said.

The decision to take a temporary break from music came last year after he made the RCAC NRT. It took three years to build his qualifications for the national team. WO Asselin competed against a pool of 80 shooters from across the country in August 2014, eventually earning a spot on this year’s team.

“When I realized how far I had come to make the team, I broke down in tears,” said WO Asselin.

He quickly realized the importance of his accomplishment, and the historical significance of the Imperial Meeting.

Bisley has hosted the Imperial Meeting since 1890 and also acts as the National Shooting Centre for the National Rifle Association (NRA) of the UK.

The NRA was granted Royal Charter in 1894 with Queen Victoria firing the first shot at its first shooting competition. That moment set the pattern for the annual shooting
competition at Bisley, with the Queen’s Prize remaining the top honour at the Imperial Meeting held every July.

Even though he was named the Most Proficient Non-Commissioned Officer at 2483 PPCLI in 2014, WO Asselin concluded his next target in life will likely not be the military.

He is now setting his sights on attending UBC’s Okanagan Campus to study international economics and political philosophy, and also says he has desire to teach in the post-secondary education further down the road.  

Given his track record, few could doubt WO Asselin will make his mark.


Peter Mallett
Staff Writer

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  1. Andre says:

    This young man has it in his blood. He will succeed. Look up his grand father and uncle achievements in this type of events.
    Hope it will come up.

  2. Richard Asselin says:

    Way to go Philippe and 2483 PPCLI!!!

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