With an eye on the 2016 Rio Games, Olympic gold medallist Abhinav Bindra on Tuesday launched the 'Abhinav Bindra Shooting Scholarship Programme', which aims to develop talented youngsters in India by offering support to select junior shooters.
Shooters selected for the programme will receive monetary support and access to expertise, equipment support (in cases of financial need), and a week-long shooting workshop with Bindra, India's only individual gold medal at sport's biggest stage, and his panel of experts.
"It is an exciting time for Indian shooting as we look forward to a number of major events. I look forward to giving back to the sport that has given me so much and eagerly await the opportunity to work with the new crop of shooters in helping them reach their full potential," Bindra said.
"I hope that this shooting scholarship programme and the shooters supported through it will go from strength to strength," he added.
Applicants will be screened by senior coaches and experts, and comprehensive selection trials will be conducted by a panel nominated by Bindra, who had clinched the top prize at the Beijing Games in 2008.
Shooters of merit competing at the national and/or international level can apply on or before May 23. All applicants must be in the age group of 13-21 years.
The programme is operated by the Abhinav Bindra Foundation and GoSports Foundation. Bindra and Rahul Dravid are on the GoSports Foundation's Board of Advisors.
The Abhinav Bindra Foundation, founded in 2009, has been working towards grassroots level development of sports in India and the promotion of the Olympic Spirit in the country.
The foundation encourages young boys and girls to participate in sports, which will instill the spirit of sportsmanship in them, teach them life lessons and break down social and cultural barriers.