Shooting camp likely to be delayed over logistical issues
The proposed senior national shooting camp at the Karni Singh Shooting Range here, that was scheduled to start from October 5, could be delayed because of logistical issues. The Sports Authority of India is yet to clear the proposal of the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI), which has given a long list of 165 shooters and support staff for two separate camps -- rifle/pistol and shotgun. The shotgun camp is for 10 days, from October 20 while rifle and pistol shooters will have a month-long camp.
The NRAI has proposed the stay of shooters and support staff in hotels (single room accommodation) near the Karni Singh range and that has emerged as one of the sticking points. SAI is also pondering over the sheer size of the camp and whether an effective bubble can be put in place for so many campers in hotels. All the ongoing national camps are being held in SAI campuses with residential facilities that have allowed strict monitoring and implementation of SAI Standard Operating Procedures.
The SAI has asked the NRAI to send a detailed proposal regarding accommodation and safety measures. The federation on Monday reached out to the shooters asking for their confirmation, so that they can arrive at the actual number of shooters who would participate in the camp and plan accordingly.
“Consultation is being held with coaches, athletes and NRAI on quarantine protocols and all the details are being worked out,” SAI said in reply to a query on the proposed camp.
“The advice of the medical team is being sought over the COVID 19 protocols and the SOPs,” SAI said on shooters stay in hotels during the camp.
Similar obstacles had surfaced during the badminton national camp in Hyderabad over accommodation and quarantine protocols. The initial proposal of the players being put up in hotels in Hyderabad was rejected by SAI. Eventually the camp was called off after local players did not agree to accommodation at SAI Gopichand academy and wanted the seven-day quarantine protocol to be relaxed.
It is learnt the NRAI will recommend hotel accommodation only for outstation shooters and coaches. Those shooters who stay in the National Capital Region and are already training at the Karni Singh range since it opened in July, would be allowed to travel from home.
“The actual number of campers who would require hotel accommodation would be very less than 165 because many shooters may not join the camp. Some of them have already pulled out. If those who stay in Delhi, NCR are allowed to travel from home, then it will not be a big number who would need hotel stay,” said an NRAI official.
In July NRAI had planned to put up shooters in a private university which was not cleared by SAI. The Karni Singh range, however, was opened by SAI for elite shooters. After the initial resumption, para shooters and National Centre of Excellence shooters have also been allowed to train. Around 20 shooters, who stay in and around Delhi, are currently training at the Karni Singh range.
The new residential wing at the Karni Singh range with a capacity of around 150 beds is nearing completion and is expected to be operational by November. Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju, who visited the range recently has asked to speed up work. “Accommodation could be possible there only from next year. We urgently need to have a camp now because it has been six months since the shooters had a camp. There are no top coaches to monitor the elite shooters at Karni Singh range currently,” said one of the coaches.
Shooters have been training on their own at home or in ranges near their home. The ISSF calendar for next year has been announced and New Delhi is scheduled to host a World Cup early next year.