NRAI tries to keep shooting alive in CWG

President Raninder Singh revealed that many meetings had been held with the Games Federation and the authorities to help retain the sport.

President Raninder Singh revealed that many meetings had been held with the Games Federation and the authorities to help retain the sport.   -  THE HINDU PHOTO ARCHIVES

The president of the National Rifle Association of India, Raninder Singh, assured the shooting fraternity that every effort was being made to keep shooting as part of the Commonwealth Games to be staged in Birmingham in 2022.

Addressing the media in the company of the shooters who brought medals at the CWG in Gold Coast, the NRAI president revealed that many meetings had been held with the Games Federation and the organising committee of Birmingham to drive home the point.

He said that the International Shooting Sport Federation had also had three meetings with the authorities on the subject.

With the Bisley range, which had hosted shooting twice during the CWG, including the one in Manchester in 2002, situated about 70 kilometres from Birmingham, Raninder said that it was baffling to find the organisers talk about the issue of legacy.

“British shooting is equally upset, as they had placed third on the medals table,” said Raninder, to reinforce his point that the shooting fraternity was adamant to retain the sport in the CWG.

Raninder said that he was pleading with the government to boycott the Birmingham Commonwealth Games, if shooting was not retained.

“It is absolutely unfair to remove an Olympic sport. First, they removed the pairs competition, then they removed some events, and now they are removing the sport,” said Raninder as he expressed his anguish.

“There are issues with shooting in Asian Games also, as some events have been removed, but at least shooting is there in the schedule,” said Raninder.

With shooting accounting for 24 per cent of the team’s medals and 27 per cent of the gold, and being the only sport in which India could beat Australia, Raninder said that it was important to fight for shooting’s retention.

He said that there was no discussion and there was no notification to anyone, and it was arbitrarily decided to drop shooting from the Birmingham Commonwealth Games.

With the Sports Minister, Col. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore having already written to the CWG Federation, the NRAI president said that he would request for further involvement of the government to help retain shooting in the calendar.