NRAI mobilises financial support for Birmingham CWG

The NRAI has tried all avenues, from seeking the support of the PM, assuring financial assistance from the ISSF, to seeking the intervention of the Head of the Commonwealth, the Prince of Wales, who has overriding powers.

NRAI president Raninder Singh, presenting arguments in a nearly 200-page document, has sought the help of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and the Union Government to further pursue the matter of shooting snub from Commonwealth Games 2022 with the CWG Federation.

NRAI president Raninder Singh, presenting arguments in a nearly 200-page document, has sought the help of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and the Union Government to further pursue the matter of shooting snub from Commonwealth Games 2022 with the CWG Federation.   -  ISSF

It may be hard to counter ‘’closed minds’’ that continue to refute the inclusion of shooting in the Birmingham Commonwealth Games in 2022, but the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) has tried all avenues, from seeking the support of the Prime Minister, assuring financial assistance from the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF), to seeking the intervention of the Head of the Commonwealth, the Prince of Wales, who has overriding powers.

Documenting the efforts, and presenting its arguments in a nearly 200-page document, the president of NRAI, Raninder Singh, has sought the help of the Indian Olympic Association and the Union Government to further pursue the matter with the Commonwealth Games Federation.

In the compilation of communication, and all relevant data, it has been noted that the ISSF has pledged £780,000, including £40,000 to cover the cost of officials, to refurbish all equipments necessary to
fine tune Bisley for conducting shooting events.

Even when Manchester hosted the Commonwealth Games in 2002, the shooting events were conducted in Bisley, about 340 kilometres away. Bisley had also hosted most of the shooting events during the London Olympics in 1908.

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Countering the argument of the organisers about the need for a secondary accommodation for the shooters, the NRAI has said that it was no big deal to cover 130 kilometres from Bisley to Birmingham.

It was pointed out that the cyclists would be travelling to the velodrome in London, which was about 200 kilometres from Birmingham.

It was also stressed that both the House of Commons and House of Lords had debated the subject and that the UK government, which was funding 75% of organisational cost of the games, was fully in favour of the inclusion of shooting.

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Statistically proving that India’s medal haul would be affected big time, the NRAI has argued in favour of the whole sub-continent, suggesting that it was unfair to ignore the interests of about a population of 1.76 billion. Indian shooting dominates the world, as was evident from the team topping the medals table in all the four World Cups in rifle and pistol this season.

‘’Why is the only sport, where any nation, other than England, Australia, New Zealand, Wales and Scotland, are the leaders, being deleted?’’, asked NRAI.

Ironically, Birmingham has the slogan, "The Games for everyone’’.

India would lose 24% of its medals in the absence of shooting, while Bangladesh would lose 100% of its medals and Sri Lanka 15%. Pakistan may not have won much, but the fact that its shooter Khalil Akhtar recently won the Olympic quota in rapid fire pistol means that it also has the capability to stake claim for shooting medals in Commonwealth Games.

It was stressed that making security arrangements in Bisley, should not be such a big issue or cost much.

Recalling the fact that the Prime Minister Narendra Modi had taken up the subject with the last British Prime Minister, Mrs. Theresa May, the NRAI president has made a fresh appeal to the Prime Minister, to
take up the subject with the current British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson.

The NRAI has also sought the support of the IOA to bring shooting in the permanent list of events in the Commonwealth Games, from its optional status.