The Commonwealth Games are all about camaraderie in a competitive atmosphere. On Monday, the Indians, renowned for their hospitality, endeared themselves to the strong Australian contingent by extending a helping hand to one of their shooters, whose equipment had got misplaced in transit.
In true Indian style, national coach, Sunny Thomas, and his pupils sent out a SOS to women rifle shooters, shooting academies and schools all over Delhi, to help out Robyn Vannus, whose sporting gear --- including special jacket, trousers, shoes, gloves, rifle and sling among other things --- had got misplaced.
In no time, four jackets, an equal number of shoes and other equipment were made available to Vannus, a 10m air rifle and 50m rifle 3-position shooter. “I was overwhelmed with the kind of response I received to my request,” said Thomas.
Anuja Jung — wife of Samaresh Jung, the best athlete at the 2006 Melbourne Games with five gold, and herself a gold-medallist four years back — sent two sets of equipment, while Kuheli Gangulee (former international shooter and coach of Tejaswini Sawant) arranged for another jacket. We also sent requests to Deep Public School in Ghaziabad to arrange the gear,” said Thomas.
International rifle shooter Shimon Sharif too was roped in to lend a helping hand and he also arranged a full set. “But just when all the arrangements had been made, Vannus informed that her equipment had been traced and that it would be delivered at the range soon,” said the national coach.
“She had been allotted a pre-event training schedule from 11am till noon. But since her equipment had not arrived by then, we rescheduled it in the evening session,” said the coach.