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Pune, Jun 22 (PTI) The Gagan Narang Sports Promotion Foundation (GNSPF) today announced its "The Project Leap" plan to train and turn 20 young and talented shooters from different parts of the country into international champions.The selected shooters would be mentored by top international coaches and receive training at state-of-the-art facilities, including sports science support, for a full year, said a media release from the academy founded by the Khel Ratna Awardee and London Olympics bronze medal winner."We identified 55 prospective shooters and put them through an elaborate evaluation process to select the 20 best ones among them, " explained the ace rifle shooter."We looked for various skill-sets that are required for sustained high-level performances in world-level competitions, " he added.Narang's Gun For Glory academies identified the 55 shooters and he personally supervised each centre s selection process to hand-pick the best prospects, the release said, adding that the project is part of the Gagan Narang mentoring programme with Vision 2024."It has taken us a couple of years to bring together all stakeholders and find the right ingredients for project leap.It is now in its truest sense a leap for Indian shooting. We are confident that we will be able to tap and nurture the vast talent in our country and will help in transforming them into world class shooters, " said the 34-year-old shooter who was nicknamed "Goldfinger" in the 2006 Commonwealth Games held in Melbourne, Australia.Former Indian shooting coach and director of GNSPF, Pawan Singh said that it will usher in a new leaf in the history of the sport in India."The selected shooters will undergo specialised training programmes in their respective Gun For Glory academies. They will be provided with international standard equipment for daily practice, " Pawan said."Through the year, the youngsters will attend different camps as well, with each camp lasting 12 days, in which equal weightage will be given to mental and physical preparation and technical refinement, " he added.
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Do you know that one of India’s premier shooting championships, All India GV Mavlankar Shooting Championship, actually started in the city in 1960? Though Ahmedabad’s brush with shooting goes back to more than half-acentury, it is quite surprising that the city is yet to see a top class shooter in recent times. While young Rushiraj Barot holds a promise for the future in pistol shooting, 18-year-old rifle shooter Elavenil Valanival emerged as one of the stars to look for the future. The first year Bachelor of Arts (English Literature) student of Bhavan’s Arts and Commerce College is already a part of the Indian junior team and has already picked a team bronze medal.The game changerHowever, for someone who started shooting just to try a hand at it, the biggest moment came when she was picked for the ambitious Project Leap – an initiative by London Olympics bronze medallist Gagan Narang to identify next generation shooters. “I think that was the big game changer for me, ” the youngster told Mirrorwhile talking about Narang’s initiative. “Through the initiative, I was introduced into professional training. There are lot of things I didn’t know of and became aware of, ” she explained, adding, “And as my results improved, my interest too increased.”From athletics to shootingTaking about her initiation into the game, Elavenil said, “Actually, it has been three years that I started shooting.” Understanding the astonishment, the youngster said, “I was into athletics. Then I was persuaded by friends to try out shooting.” “The Foundation (Gagan Narang Sports Promotion Foundation) had just launched its programme at our school (Sanskar Dham). It turned out I was good at it and got hooked, ” she added. “The more I started to take part in the tournaments, the more confident I became. And the more confident I got, I started to get better results, ” she said.Among the eliteWhile she divided her time between Pune, Delhi (while training with personal coach Neha Chauhan) and Ahmedabad, Elavenil’s consistent performances at national and international levels saw her move into the elite programme that aimed to nurture the brightest of young talent and monitor their progress on a yearly basis. Talking about her stint with Slovakian Anton Balek, Elavenil said, “Among the several positives, I have been able to work on my swaying tendency in the camo. Identifying this minor issue and rectifying it has not only helped me to shoot confidently, it has also added consistency to my sport.” “As shooting needs both mental and physical improvements, the stint during the camp helped me work on both, ” she added.Need better infrastructureWhile Elavenil is gunning for glory, she just had one problem. “There are many challenges for ashooter. We need good rifles and continuous supply of rounds for our training. But there is one thing that definitely requires immediate attention and it is infrastructure, ” she said, adding, “The Rifle Club is the best in the city, but it is nowhere near being world class.”
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Recognition boost for Gagan Narang’s catch ’em young projectLondon Olympics bronze medallist Gagan Narang has been doing grassroot work for budding shooters for some time. In partnership with various state governments, his organisation — Gagan Narang Sports Promotion foundation — has opened 17 ‘Gun for Glory’ (GFG) shooting academies, to train youngsters.For outstanding work in mentoring and coaching, it was honoured by Tata Institute of Social Sciences at the TISS Leapvault CLO awards on Friday. In a chat with Express, the veteran shooter talked about his own and the foundation’s plans. It was soon after his stupendous performance at the 2010 CWG in Delhi, where he grabbed four gold medals, that he decided to start a sports promotion foundation. “After CWG, a lot of parents would approach me seeking guidance for their kids. To address the issue, I thought of starting the foundation.It was a way of giving back to the game, which has given me so much in life and the foundation started in 2011, ” the 34-year-old said on Saturday. Narang considers making the sport accessible his foundation’s biggest success. “Shooting is expensive. A gun costs anywhere between Rs 2.5-3 lakh. There is an entry-level barrier even for talented people. We provide trainees everything, from guns to jackets at a fee of Rs 5, 500. To remove the cost barrier is the best feeling, ” said Narang, who is preparing for the upcoming Commonwealth Shooting Championship and Asian Air Gun Championship.The 17 GFG academies have trained about 3, 500 students till now. “German gun manufacturer, Walther, has helped by providing guns free of cost.” Around two months ago, a new initiative — Project Leap — was started to identify next generation shooters who could be medal prospects at international events. Under the watchful eyes of Narang, 23 shooters from different parts of the country were selected after selection trials involving physical and technical skills.“These shooters will be fully funded. The total cost is estimated to be around Rs 1.2 crore, ” Narang noted. Asked who the future stars from the GFG academies could be, he said, “Youngsters like Mahima (Agarwal), Shreya (Agarwal) and Elavenil are already a part of the junior Indian team.” Shreya won silver at the recently concluded KSS Memorial Shooting Championship. What’s next? “We already have two academies here. A third one, in association with Sports Authority of Telangana State (SATS), named SATS-GFG Shooting Academy will be launched soon, ” Narang revealed.
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The Gagan Narang Sports Promotion Foundation (#GNSPF) unveiled its ambitious plan, ‘The Project #Leap’, to train and turn 20 young and talented shooters from different parts of the country into international #champions.Founded and driven by Khel Ratna Awardee and #Olympic medallist Gagan Narang, the selected shooters will be mentored by top international coaches and will receive training at state of the art facilities including sports science support for a full year so that they become the new shooting stars of the country.“We identified 55 prospective shooters and put them through an elaborate evaluation process to select the 20 best ones among them, ” Padmashri Gagan Narang explained. “We looked for various skill-sets that are required for sustained high-level performances in world-level competitions, ” he added.Project Leap is a multi-phased research designed to not only train and mentor selected shooters but also to generally improve the performances of Indian shooters. #Gagan’s #GunForGlory academies identified the 55 shooters and he personally supervised each centre’s selection process to handpick the best prospects. The project is part of the Gagan Narang mentoring programme with #Vision2024, 10 medals shooting India.“It has taken us a couple of years to bring together all stakeholders and find the right ingredients for Project leap. It is now in its truest sense a leap for Indian Shooting. We are confident that we will be able to tap and nurture the vast talent in our country and will help in their transforming them into world class shooters, ” Gagan Narang said.Former Indian shooting coach and director of #GNSPF Pawan Singh expressed delight at the launch of the programme and believes that it will usher in a new leaf in the history of the sport in India.“The selected shooters will undergo specialized training programmes in their respective #GunForGlory academies. They will be provided with international standard equipment for daily practice. Through the year, the youngsters will attend different camps as well, with each camp lasting 12 days, in which equal weightage will be given to mental and physical preparation and technical refinement, ” Shri Pawan Singh said. #GNSPF has been working relentlessly since its inception in 2011 and has already churned out a few champions, including Pooja Ghatkar, Mahima Turhi Aggarwal, Apurvi Chandela, Heena Sidhu and Rahi Sarnobat who have trained at the Academy. It has its Gun For Glory shooting academies in Pune, Jabalpur, Mumbai, Bhubaneshwar, Ahmedabad and Secunderabad to name a few and not only offers the right platform for upcoming shooters but also fund them in their development process.
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Olympic medallist Gagan Narang says his ‘priority’ is active shooting despite taking up mentoring of lateHe may have taken to mentoring of late, but active shooting remains Gagan Narang’s number one priority and he says there is “no doubt” he is eyeing more international glory, including another shot at the Olympics.After a gap of one year, the London Olympic bronze medallist is back to his pet event – 10m air rifle – and he is gunning to hit top form.“Shooting is my No.1 priority, I love to be around the sport whether it is through mentoring, coaching or whether in terms of my shooting… Right now my own shooting is my number one priority, ” he told PTI during an interview at the Dr Karni Singh Shooting Ranges on Thursday.The marksman, who has completed two decades in the sport, added, “I will continue to do it as long as I enjoy doing it. Nobody is in the team because they are shooting for 20 years. you are on the team because you are the best.” The 34-year-old, along with a full-fledged Indian shooting squad, will be leaving for Gold Coast, Australia, on Friday to compete in the Commonwealth Shooting Championships, a test event for next year’s Commonwealth Games.“… And if there is someone else better than me then why not. As long as I am enjoying my sport, shooting well, as long as I am able to win medals for the country I will continue to shoot.“Age is just a number. Every day is a new day and of course, as you progress, there is a different kind of challenges. Definitely, it’s important to have a good amount of drive and motivation, which I have. I am just going to go all out.”Summing up his journey so far, he said sometimes it’s hard to remain motivated after winning so many times across the world.“It’s been good, I have won every medal that was there at every level, sometimes finding motivation after winning so many medals is tough, but the Rio (Olympics) performances are also on the back of my mind and that is motivating .. I am giving it all I have got.”“You need to have long-term vision somewhere. I am taking it one competition at a time because you are as good as your last competition. I am taking it one step at a time towards a bigger goal.”If he makes it to the Tokyo 2020, it will be Narang’s fourth Olympic appearances.He has been mentoring the likes of Pooja Ghatkar and has also tied up the Olympic Gold Quest besides being actively involved with Project Leap and his own Gun For Glory Academy.“When you are mentoring you are always around the sport, whether it’s like project leap and the academy, I love sharing my knowledge and knowledge is something that needs to be always updated, it also needs to be refreshed.“When you are training somebody, a lot of times I have found that it helped me, too. For example, usually, they say that a good shooter or a great shooter can’t be a good coach because he is going to analyse things from his perspective.“But I have been fortunate to train under so many good coaches that I have kind of picked up different techniques from different coaches, and I think the more amount of information you have, sometimes that can get complicated, but, at the same time, it can help a lot of shooters at various levels.“I have seen that while trying to solve somebody’s problem I found that I also probably have the same problem so I thought let me also try and that has helped me.”He said he is constantly trying to keep himself updated with the changing trends in the sport.“As far as technical help is concerned I have friends all over the world and most of them are all top shooters and we kind of exchange notes if we know we have a problem.“Also these days because of social media you get to know about the latest equipment coming in the market much faster.
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GFG’s para shooter Swaroop Ulhankar to represent IndiaGun for Glory shooting academy’s Swaroop Manohar Ulhankar has been selected in an 11-member squad to represent India at the IPC Shooting World Cup in Bangkok from November 5.The Kolhapur-based para shooter came into the reckoning for his gold medal-winning performances at the recent nationals and his fine showing earlier in the KSS Competition conducted by the Paralympic Committee of India.Swaroop, who trains under the head coach of GFG Anton Belak in Project Leap, will participate in the 10m Air Rifle Standing and Prone Competitions. He is confident of a good showing, especially as he has been training with the best equipment and that too under the guidance of the some of the best coaches.“It’s been about four years that I have been training at the GFG and I have been steadily improving. Coach Anton Belak and Yuniatri Iliyas before him have worked on my shooting and I feel a lot more confident now, ” an elated Swaroop said.He was particularly thankful for Narang’s presence at the Academy.“As I am a disabled person, I couldn’t find a coach in my initial days. But Gagan Sir didn’t have any qualms about taking me under his wings and his support and tips have motivated me to do a lot more, ” he added.He explained that Narang made him focus on prone shooting and also gave him tips on how to concentrate better while shooting.“Whenever I saw him at our practice sessions, I saw immense talent in him and I wanted to help him in any way I could. I am glad my advice has improved him and we will continue to leave no stone unturned to help him achieve his dreams, ” Narang, the man behind the GFG initiative, said about his pupil.
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Shreya, Swaroop win medals at KSS Memorial Shooting ChampionshipGun for Glory shooters Shreya Agrawal and Swaroop Unhalkar (para-shooter) returned with individual medals in their respective category in the ongoing XVII Kumar Surendra Singh (KSS) Memorial Shooting Championship at the Karni Singh Shooting Range here on Sunday.Shreya, who is already in Indian junior national squad, proved her prowess and continued her ascent to the top. The MP shooter, who is based out of GFG’s Jabalpur campus, returned with an impressive total of 247.7 to win the top honours in the youth category in the 10m Air Rifle competition. She then continued her form into the junior category as well, shooting a total 249 to finish behind Mehuli Ghosh and winning silver medal.“We would like to congratulate both the shooters for this wonderful feat and their achievements that goes on to underline the quality training that GFG puts them through. It also shows the progress that each of these shooters have made and I am extremely happy to witness the way their career is shaping. And who knows, they are not far for becoming champion shooters, who could very well go on to win many more medals and make the country proud, ” ace Indian shooter and founder director of GFG Gagan Narang said.Swaroop who trains at the GFG centre in Pune shot a total of 609.1 to finish just a point adrift of Vhora Adambhai, who shot 610.3, to end second on the podium in the 10m Air Rifle category (Para-Shooting Standing). The Kolhapur shooter is part of the GFG’s ambitious Vission 2024 ‘Project Leap’ and has already represented India in the World Shooting Para Sport, in Ail Ain earlier this year.A total of 32 GFG shooters are taking part in the KSS Championship in the Air Rifle and Pistol category, six of them being part of the ambitious grassroots excellence programme – Project Leap.
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Esha leads Telangana shooters’ sterling showShe may be just 12 years old but Esha Singh proved that age is just a number by bagging five medals at the 9th South Zone Shooting Championship in Chennai recently.Esha, who is part of the Project Leap, eclipsed the other medal winners by her gritty performance in the championship. Esha participated in five categories – women’s 10m pistol, junior 10m pistol, youth 10m pistol, women 25m sports pistol and junior25m sports pistol – and proved her worth in all the events. She ended up with five medals – two gold, two silver and a bronze to stamp her authority.t turned out to be a great outing for the Telangana shooters, who are part of the Gun for Glory Shooting Academy, as they clinched 13 medals in the championship. In all 22 shooters from the Telangana centres of the Gun for Glory Shooting Academy qualified for the National Championship but Anurag Gautham, Mahendra Reddy, Swargamn Sathvik, Ushabala Yaramsetti, Esha Singh, K Adithya and A Supritya overshadowed the others with their brilliant performances in their respective disciplines.“We would like to congratulate all the shooters on this astounding feat which underlines the training received at the GFG academies all over the country. I hope they can carry the momentum forward to become champion shooters in the future and bring laurels for the country someday, ” Gagan Narang said while congratulating the shooters.Project Leap, which is an initiative by the Gagan Narang Sports Promotion Foundation, is a research training program designed to improve the standards of Indian shooting with modern techniques and sustain high level performances and thereby pave the way forward for the aspiring shooters.GNSPF also has a track record of churning out champions like Rahni Sarhobat and Heena Sidhu in the last few years. Shooters like Esha and Mahima Turhi Aggarwal have come up the ranks at a tender age and with the current infrastructure and training methods available at the academy, things are looking rosy for the future of shooting in the country.
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