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Gunning for gloryGagan Narang Sports Promotion Foundation’s new Academy aims to train the shooting champions of the futureShooting has been a major medal winning sport at the Summer Olympics for India. Ever since the silver medal haul of Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore in the Athens Olympics in 2004, Indian shooters have consistently brought laurels to the country. In 2008, it was Abhinav Bindra’s gold that made the nation sit up and watch the growing prowess of our shooters. In the London Olympics of 2012, Vijay Kumar Sharma claimed a silver and Gagan Narang bagged a bronze. True, our shooters returned empty handed from Rio Olympics last year, but there is no denying the fact that the shooters would go all out on a medal hunt in the 2020 Olympics scheduled to be held in Tokyo.Providing impetus to that effort is Gagan Narang Sports Promotion Foundation (GNSPF) which has opened the Gun For Glory Shooting Academy (GFG) in 17 centres across the country. The latest addition is the Bengaluru unit of the GFG located at VeloCT, off Sarjapur Road. VeloCT is a multi-sports development centre by SportsVilla Ventures Pvt Ltd.According to Narang and VeloCT, the objective of the Academy is to create awareness on shooting in the city and state, and thus unearth young talent to groom them to national and international levels.Narang is quite optimistic about the success of the Bengaluru Centre. “I wish to reach out to talented kids and nurture them to become world champions by providing them the right guidance at the right time with the right equipment, ” says the Olympian.The training programme at GFG will be monitored by senior coaches from Pune headquarters, who are certified by the International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF). Narang himself will visit the centre to check on the progress of the trainees. The Academy has the capacity to train 14 wards at a time. There is a resident ISSF certified coach and as the number of trainees increases, more coaches will be hired for the centre.There is no selection process for the beginner level and all shooting enthusiasts can enrol in the programme. The minimum age for enrolment is 11 years.GFG’s Bengaluru unit has been set up in VeloCT’s state-of-the-art complex with 14 shooting lanes for 10 metre air rifle and air pistol practice and possesses latest training equipment.Piyush Sarode, one of the founder of VeloCT says “We are privileged to be associated with GFG, which has been doing good work at the grass root level. Our aim is to bring shooters, shooting fans and the public on the same stage. With GFG, we hope to create world class champions.”It is not just shooting that enjoys pre-eminence at VeloCT, other major sports are also provided with the best of facilities. Currently, it has a football turf and a cricket pitch operational. Football has a FIFA two-star-certified artificial pitch and is suitable for a seven-a-side game and the arena is floodlit. VeloCT also has an exclusive tie-up with the English Premier League Club, Arsenal’s soccer schools for training. In the near future, VeloCT plans to add an indoor heated semi-Olympic sized swimming pool, basketball and volleyball courts, besides a fitness centre.The training programme at Gun For Glory Shooting Academy will be monitored by senior coaches from Pune headquarters
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