10m air rifle shooting range to open in city next month
There is good news for city-based shooters as next month, the district sports department will convert the squash court near Rakh Bagh into a 10m air rifle shooting range.
On Wednesday, district sports officer Ravinder Singh received a letter from the municipal corporation (MC) which read that the management of the squash court located along Rakh Bagh is being transferred to the sports department for using it as a shooting range.
This became possible only after an approval from the finance and contracts committee of the MC.
“It was a long-pending demand of the department. Finally, with the support of MC commissioner Kanwalpreet Brar and mayor Balkar Singh Sandhu, the squash court will now be used as a shooting range,” he said.
“The work of converting the squash court into a shooting range began this week and next month, it will be open for practice,” he added.
Gurjit Singh, who is a shooting coach at Punjab sports department, will run the range, Ravinder said.
Gurjit said 14 targets will be fixed in the 10m air rifle shooting range. “I have already arranged some infrastructure. The work of installing the targets, benches, and other infrastructure will start within this week,” he said.
He added that he will also install squat system at the range which will help improve performance of the shooters as they will get to know about their mistakes while pressing the trigger.
As of now, more than 30 city-based shooters are being trained in the 10m air rifle shooting at a range in Narangwal village, 27km away from the city. “It takes around one hour to reach the range. The total commute of going and coming takes two hours which the shooters will soon be able to invest in practising,” Gurjit said, adding that many shooters have in the past, stopped pursuing shooting only because of the long commute.
The foundation stone of the squash court was laid in 2002 but it was constructed only in 2014 at a cost of around ₹50 lakh – it was not utilised due to a paucity of squash players and the existence of a sports association in Ludhiana.
It was only in December 2017 that the sports department and the MC planned to convert the court into a shooting range for utilising the infrastructure.