2022 C’wealth Games: Bangladesh calls for shooting’s inclusion

Md. Zahid Ahsan Russel, the Bangladesh sports minister, writes a letter to the U.K. minister of state for the Commonwealth, United Nations and South Asia, seeking his “personal intervention” in the matter.

REPRESENTATIVE IMAGE: Kirti Gupta and Bhowneesh Mendiratta combined to win the bronze medal at the Asian Shotgun championship.

Representational Image: Shooting has been excluded from the Games roster for the first time since 1974. Photo: Getty Images

Bangladesh has joined India and Australia in calling for the inclusion of shooting at the Commonwealth Games in 2022.

Md. Zahid Ahsan Russel, the Bangladesh sports minister, wrote to Tariq Ahmad, the U.K. minister of state for the Commonwealth, the United Nations, and South Asia on Sunday, seeking his “personal intervention” in the matter.

“You may be aware that football, cricket, archery and shooting are our potential games right now. In this context, I am writing to you with regard to shooting and its proposed exclusion from Commonwealth Games 2022, scheduled to be held in Birmingham,” Russel wrote to Ahmad, better known as The Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, in his letter.

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“It would be deeply appreciated if you kindly extend your personal intervention so that shooting may be included in the Commonwealth Games 2022,” he wrote.

Kiren Rijiju, India’s sports minister, had sought the intervention of Nicky Morgan, the U.K. secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport (DCMS). He had written to her to protest against the decision to exclude shooting from the Games.

The sport has been excluded from the Games roster for the first time since 1974 due to logistical issues. However, Commonwealth Games Federation president Louise Martin maintained that shooting has always been an option sport in the Games. Its exclusion hasn’t gone down will with India, with the Indian Olympic Association threatening to boycott the event if the decision isn’t reversed.

Kiren Rijiju, Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports, has himself written a letter to the U.K. secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport, to call for shooting's inclusion. Photo: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

 

The Shooters Union Australia (SUA), a group claiming to represent thousands of firearm owners and enthusiasts across Australia, and which is affiliated to the National Rifle Association in the U.S., has supported India’s move. It has threatened to boycott the Games.

Shooting has yielded rich dividends for both India and Australia in the Games.

In the last edition of the Games, in Gold Coast, Australia, Indian shooters won seven gold medals, including 16 podium finishes. Australia won nine medals, including three gold.

Zahid Ahsan Russel said shooting is not only a popular sport back home but is growing in stature across the globe. “Shooting is a popular sport in Bangladesh. Also, shooting sport has been gaining its popularity gradually over the globe. Commonwealth Games is a renowned game that should be included for the sake of its historical image and goodwill,” he said.