Harpal Singh Bedi
New Delhi: National Rifle Association of India (NRAI), has decided to hold Camp for the 34 Olympic Core Group of Shooters from August 1, at Dr. Karni Singh Shooting Range (DKSSR) New Delhi
NRAI would ensure all necessary coordination and support in this regard to ensure a smooth resumption of National Shooting activities, in keeping with all the Government of India (GoI) and Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports (MYAS) guidelines in place.
Sports Authority of India (SAI) declared the DKSSR open and available for training for the core group on July 8, following which a few locally based members of the group have been availing the training and practice facilities.
High Performance Manager Ronak Pandit, was named the Nodal Officer in charge of overall coordination for hygiene and medical protocols of the camp on behalf of NRAI. He would be the vital link between athletes, coaches, support staff, the final accommodation authorities and SAI’s approved medical staff.
Elaborating on the decision, NRAI President Raninder Singh, said, “While the DKSSR was made available a week back, given the varying situations across the country and the spurt in Covid-19 cases in New Delhi, required that the utmost and most meticulous planning needs to be placed above all in the very strictest and most sterile conditions that we must now (in conjunction with SAI and the Administrator of DKSSR) assure.
The health and safety of the players and coaches being paramount, we cannot afford any loose ends. NRAI can today say that it is fully prepared to resume a cautious and phased recommencement of National Shooting activities from next month.”
Meanwhile, it was also decided that the Manav Rachna University campus, which is an International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) training academy, and located close to the DKSSR in Faridabad or a Government approved accommodation, would house the core group, coaches and its support staff. NRAI would also arrange transport to and from the venue.
Manav Rachna University informed the NRAI that they can provide world-class hygiene conditions and deploy the necessary safety precautions as required in the times.
Among his responsibilities would be to ensure that all necessary safety precautions and guidelines related to Covid-19 were being followed and implemented by all parties concerned.
In this regard, the NRAI shall be issuing its own and additional protocols that shall be strictly implemented in addition to those issued by SAI India, and naturally shall also be adhered to.
The President, opined that all campers (athletes, officials, coaches and support staff) shall be segregated and kept under the strictest of quarantine-type conditions and shall initially be required to submit a valid and recent Covid-19 Test result from their home locations and only then shall they be permitted to join the camp, that is exclusively being conducted for the elite Olympic Core Group Athletes and shall be a combined camp.
Attendance shall be compulsory for this camp as the unprecedented circumstances found globally with the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic dictates, that NRAI’s options at being accommodating are virtually zero. Therefore, currently the option of choice and personal interests, must necessarily, be put on the backburner by all in the national interest, it was decided.
The NRAI Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) manual shall be made public through its website a week prior to the start of the camp and all eligible campers must necessarily comply with it.
The NRAI is also working on a plan as Step 2 to start segregated camps for its core group of Athletes, both in the senior and junior categories, by isolating athletes for all three disciplines, separately in separate camps. This is a very important necessity as a year has been lost effectively and 2022 shall see qualifications coming for the Paris Olympiad and the NRAI cannot ignore the preparations of its bench strength to go out then and maximize the quotas for Paris.
It is interesting to note that of the current number of quota winners, the majority are junior athletes.