National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) doesn’t seem to be competent at least that’s what the Abhinav Bindra led four-member panel suggested. Their report submitted to NRAI last week was made public on Wednesday. It highlighted how conditions were far from what is required to ensure the best chances of winning medals. Ace Indian shooter Gagan Narang who was plagued with a heel injury travelled to Rio Olympics. This report also pointed out Jitu Rai having admitted off not having a “working relationship’ with his pistol coach Pavel Smirnov. The incident of shooter Ayonika Paul trying to “access more training funds under the sports ministry’s Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) by naming ‘two different coaches’ was also highlighted by this report.
The report which was prepared by Olympic gold medallist Abhinav Bindra along with four other members explained why Indian shooters returned empty handed without even a single medal from the Rio Olympics considering the shooting was one of the biggest medal prospects for the country. This report has named everyone who was responsible for the poor show of the shooters in the Rio Olympics. This 39-page report essentially focuses on key issues like lack of planning, poor coordination between the federation, athletes and the sports ministry, and the coaching quality. NRAI’s passiveness was particularly highlighted in this report.
The four-member panel recommends a complete overhaul of the system regarding NRAI functioning. It also suggested that NRAI makes it compulsory for all shooters to attend national camps. In the same breath, the panel also called for appointing qualified competent national coaches and also raising the bar of the coaching camps in terms of quality.
In context to holding national camps, this report highlighted the fact the NRAI just held 20 days of camps in the last two years and hasn’t prepared any report regarding the recommendations of the coaches.
The ace Indian shooter commenting on the report said that the current situation in the national camps is very poor and he won’t venture to go to a camp as of now. According to him the camps must be friendly to the shooters and attract them with proper facilities and a shooter should feel that he missed something after being absent for a day in the camp.
This report has come down very heavily on the federation for having done nothing for the growth of the players and the sport in the country. This comes in the backdrop of the federation president Raninder Singh complaining of delays because of bureaucratic hurdles which ultimately affects their functioning. The president further asserted the fact that the federation would make 80 percent attendance compulsory for the shooters and also promised to appoint high-performance coaches.
The Bindra led committee report hasn’t spared the players as well. The report highlighted issues relating to shooters such as Narang, Manavjit Singh Sandhu, Heena Sidhu and Ayonika Paul who went to compete for the country at the Rio Olympics. It must be noted that Abhinav Bindra who was also in the contingent to Rio kept himself out from the matter of player assessment.
Manisha Malhotra who is the convenor of this for the four-member panel said that the players need to be more accountable. The federation after a loss can’t always come up with the excuse that the players have tried hard and given their best performance