First Charity Clay Pigeon Shoot in Russia

In September the Moscow based charity Step Up organised a clay pigeon shoot at the Fox Lodge Shooting Club, near the village of Iksha, north of Moscow. In total just under 100 people participated, sixty of which competed in the tournament.

Around two thirds were expats, who mostly represented the companies who sponsored the event, including Ernst & Young, Linklaters, TNK-BP, PwC, PROSTO Media and the Russian Industrialist Magazine. Vitalij Farafonov, a member of the Board of Governors of Step Up Orphan Community Centre explained why the shoot was organised: “Step Up, works with people who leave orphanages, by helping to integrate them into society, and overcoming the negatives of an institutionalised past.

The Charity has over ten years’ experience, but we have only been an independent organisation for just over two years, so we have had to do a lot of fundraising to secure survival. We wanted to organise an annual fundraising event and saw that there are a lot of charity balls and golf tournaments in Moscow, so we decided to do something different. I went clay pigeon shooting with my father-in-law in the UK some time ago, and found out that charity clay pigeon shoots have been around for a long time there, but in Russia, this is something that nobody knows about. So that was how the idea for the shoot was born.”

The event raised $25,000 after costs, which is a significant amount of money for Step Up. This money will be kept as a reserve to secure future sustainability of the Charity. “For example if any of our donors decide not to give money, then we wont have to close our doors, we will have some sort of backup to be able to continue,”explained Vitalij.

Step Up plan to make the clay pigeon shoot an annual event and hope to make next year’s event bigger and better. It is encouraging to see a charity like this adopt novel ways to raise money where participants can thoroughly enjoy themselves doing something that perhaps they have never done before.

Vitalij Farafonov can be contacted on [email protected]

Step Up is a registered Russian charity, you can find out more about it by looking at their web site: (currently available in Russian only).
The website of the Annual Charity Clay Shoot is

Photos used in the article by Dina Magnat.