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Shooting, on a strong growth trajectory

Rayan Rozario

State shooting championship attracts a record participation of 323 entries

Photo: K. Ananthan

On the target:Commissioner of Police C.Sylendra Babu inaugurating the 36th State shooting championship at the Coimbatore Rifle Club shooting range on Wednesday. —

Coimbatore: The ongoing 36th State shooting championship for rifle and pistol events at the Coimbatore Rifle Club range has attracted a record participation of 323 entries. Interestingly, most of them are in the under-18 age group.

“It's a good sign for the sport. Last time around the figures stood at 250. So, it is a clear indication that shooting is growing with each passing year,” said Ravi Krishnan, the honorary secretary of the State association.

“Also, parents have started to realise that it is a medal winning sport. Knowing pretty well its success rate they are now constantly pushing their children hard to take up shooting,” he added.

He said the performances of the Indian shooters, who reaped a rich harvest at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, have kindled great interest in the minds of these young ones. The five-day championship, sponsored by the Lakshmi Machine Works Ltd., was inaugurated by City Police Commissioner C. Sylendra Babu on Wednesday.

Mr. Babu, who is incidentally the president of the host club, is quietly playing his part in developing the sport among the school children in the State. He was instrumental in setting up 10m air rifle and air pistol ranges in Bharath Matriculation School in Chennai, TNPL School in Karur, Nava Bharath School in Annur and a school in Dindigul. “We have established one more range at the Saraswathi Vidyalaya MHSS in Mettupalayam. It will be inaugurated shortly,” said Mr. Babu.

“I must say that shooting is a sport in which our medal chances have always been very bright. To win a medal it requires just four years of concentration and hard work,” he added.

He said it is out of his personal interest that he started this endeavour. “It all happened in a year's time. And, I am pleased that the schools have also shown tremendous interest.”

How about training and developing? “I have Linga Raj, a coach from Dindigul, to assist me. He is helping me out in establishing these ranges in schools. He is also taking time out to train the teachers. They in turn train the children,” he said.

Mr. Babu is determined to pass it on to other schools provided they show interest. The Coimbatore Rifle Club is also eager to give its best support for the sport that is fast growing in the State.

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