Odisha forays into shooting with Gagan Narang

India's emerging sporting hub, Odisha will now have a world class shooting facility with the inauguration of the Odisha Aditya Birla-Gagan Narang Shooting High Performance Centre in Bhubaneswar.

The shooting range was inaugurated in a virtual ceremony in the presence of Olympic medallist Gagan Narang (left) and other dignitaries.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

India's emerging sporting hub, Odisha will now have a world class shooting facility as on Monday the state's chief minister Naveen Patnaik inaugurated the Odisha Aditya Birla-Gagan Narang Shooting High Performance Centre at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar.

The shooting range was inaugurated in a virtual ceremony in the presence of Olympic medallist Gagan Narang, Kumar Mangalam Birla (Chairman, Aditya Birla Group), Vishal Kumar Dev (Commissioner-cum-secretary), R. Vineel Krishna (Director of Sports) among other dignitaries.

The facility consists of a 22-lane 10m shooting range, which includes 10 electronic targets and 12 electrical manual targets. It has the capacity to host 60 athletes per day across different levels ranging from beginner to elite.

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The one-of-a-kind centre will also house a 50m range, which was recently renovated. Moreover, the air conditioned facility will be equipped with adequate weapons and consumables, besides performance analysis equipment.

Speaking on the occasion, the Odisha CM congratulated Narang for his determination to take the sport forward and empowering the athletes of the country.

"We (Odisha) continue to support sportspersons in their endeavour to achieve excellence. The state has a viable sports culture which has produced many successful sportsperson. I congratulate Shri Kumar Mangalam Birla and Olympian Gagan Narang for collaborating to promote talent in Odisha," the Odisha CM Patnaik said.

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Shooting is one of the fastest growing sports in the country. The fact that the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) has hosted nine international events, including three World Cups and one Olympic Qualifiers, in the recent past bears testament to the tremendous success India has had in shooting.

Narang, who was conferred with the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award in 2011, thanked every stakeholder for their support in helping him take the sport forward. The 2010 ISSF World Cup gold medallist, who is the founder of 'Gun For Glory Shooting Academy' with branches in 13 cities, mentioned that well before he won the Olympic medal in 2012, he wanted to be the agent of change.

"Another goal becomes a milestone for us with the opening of the 10m range. We hope to follow the Gun For Glory curriculum, which has yielded great success which has changed the athletes from basics to world beaters. The Olympics is a year away and today seems to be the right time for laying the foundation for the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics." Narang said during the ceremony in Bhubaneshwar.

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Narang also revealed that the training centre is extremely accessible to the specially-abled athletes and a special training program has been designed for them.

-Two more facilities inaugurated-

Apart from the HPC, the Odisha CM also inaugurated two other facilities in the Ganjam district of the state - a multi-purpose indoor stadium in Hinjilicut and an indoor stadium in Chatrapur. 

The Hinjilicut facility boasts of a centrally air-conditioned synthetic arena, four badminton courts, one basketball and volleyball court, a table tennis room, a fitness and  a yoga room and a seating gallery with a capacity of 300. On the other hand, the Chatrapur centre consists of three wodden-floored badminton courts and a table tennis room.

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