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Eye on busy 2022, NRAI calls for camp

The National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) has called for a national camp of a full squad of over 100 shooters and coaches. The decision might raise a few eyebrows as to why priority isn’t given to the training of the Olympics core group of shooters. However, NRAI wants to restart sporting activities and start preparations for the busy 2022 calendar, which includes the Commonwealth and Asian Games.

Also, it is understood that apart from the trap discipline, in which India might go unrepresented at the 2021 Olympics, the team for next year’s World Cup will consist of shooters who have won Olympics quotas for the country. “The Olympics team should be selected for the World Cups to get them into competition mode as the 2021 Games is our first priority,” Deepali Deshpande, chief coach of the Indian rifle team, told The Tribune. “Also, shooters from the non-Olympics events have been included because from January we will start selections and plans for the Asian and Commonwealth Games.”

Subject to approval from the Sports Authority of India (SAI), the rifle and pistol camp is scheduled to be held from October 5 to November 8 and the shotgun camp on October 20-30. Interestingly, NRAI has made attending the camp optional and it will seek the shooters’ opinion once it gets the approval from SAI. “Proposal has been sent to SAI for approval. Strict compliance of SOP issued by MHA and Covid test by a Govt authorised Lab is must for all Shooters and coaches,” NRAI stated. “The test report should not be older than 48 hours from joining the camp on 5th October 2020 (Rifle/Pistol). This report will have to be submitted at the time of joining the camp. No personal coaches/parents/ guests will be allowed to enter the range. Detailed circular will be issued on receipt of approval of SAI.”

The original plan was to call for the camp only those shooters who compete in the Olympics disciplines, but NRAI has included other shooters after a few coaches insisted.

However, not everyone is on board. NRAI’s advisor and former shooter Ronak Pandit has advised the federation to keep the camp only for the Olympics core group. Only if everything goes well should a full-fledged camp be held, Pandit has advised NRAI.