Malaika Goel’s silver medal in shooting at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games is an achievement in itself, despite the fact that city shooters, including her, had been fighting for a shooting range in the city.
Like Malaika, most of the city shooters, nearest access to a shooting range is at Narangwal, which is about 25 km from the city
With proposed Sunet range under illegal encroachment most of the shooters travel to the range sometimes twice a day for practice.
“Despite unavailability of proper infrastructure for shooting in the city, Malaika has earned a silver medal for India. Ludhiana has the potential to produce many more players of international repute who can win medals for the country in the years to come, provided the proposed land for the shooting range at Sunet village is freed of encroachments as soon as possible, ” said Jagdeesh Singh Brar, president, District Rifle Association.
The shooters mentor and coach Gurjeet Singh said it was sheer passion on Malaika’s part that helped her clinch the honours for the country. “It was a daily ritual for Malaika to reach the shooting range for practice, without a miss. The travel was and is a sheer wastage of time.
Malaika used to reach at 6am for her three-hour practice session. Due to unavailability of adequate infrastructure in the city, talented shooters suffer a lot, most of them prefer to go to other cities for training,” Gurjeet added.
“Despite getting approval from the state chief minister, the Sunet shooting range project is pending for years due encroachments,” Brar said. Since the inception of the District Rifle Association in 1995, out of 75 medals won by the Punjab team at national level, 40 belong to Ludhiana alone.