The 63rd National Shooting Championship for rifle and pistol is being held at the Madhya Pradesh Shooting Academy in Goregaon, Bhopal, from December 7 and will continue till January 4, 2020. History is in the making as a record number of 7,760 shooters from across the country has thronged to participate in the nationals.
It is a positive sign that shooting, as a sport, has grown leaps and bound in the country as so many shooters were able to qualify for the nationals despite having strict qualifying mark. A player comes from zonal, states, pre-national and then take part in the nationals. Bhopal having limited firing points, some of the events are expected to run from six to nine days. India has already seen 15 shooters earning qualification at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, the highest ever from the country.
The reasons for shooting sport to grow in India is manifold. India already has produced some top-level shooters from the country in the past decade with four medals and several other top-notch performances coming in the Olympics, this has led the young generation to look up to them as inspirations. They can see seniors shooters doing well. Speaking to The Bridge, veteran shooter Joydeep Karmakar said, “Of course the shooters of our country who have done well in big stages serve as a big motivation for the youngsters and that’s why the base of the pyramid is very strong today. Besides, the government and the National Association have played an intrinsic role in popularising the sport.”
Earlier, we spoke that India didn’t have good infrastructure in shooting, however, today more than 500 shooting ranges have opened up in the country. “With academies springing up across the country, we don’t have that much of infrastructural problem. Unlike earlier times, shooters don’t have to think about where to go.”
Shooting is an expensive sport, and youngsters are being helped by these academies which are providing them with the basic amenities and equipment. A total number of 43 students from the Joydeep Karmakar Shooting Academy in West Bengal has gone to take part in the Nationals this year.
This is the first time when the 63rd National Shooting (rifle/pistol) competition is being organised at Madhya Pradesh State Shooting Academy. It is noteworthy that all the sports facilities are being provided to the players in the shooting academy which conform to the standards set by the NRAI for national and international competitions.