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Learning from the Masters: How to Get Your Child Started With Shooting.Shooting should be introduced in the school curriculum, says Olympian Gagan Narang, who is also mentoring junior shooters to reach new heights.In his 20th year in the sport, ace shooting champion Gagan Narang is still going strong and gearing up for the Tokyo Olympics. Having made his country proud by winning a bronze medal at the 10m air rifle event at the 2012 London Olympics, Narang went on to triumph at the 2014 Commonwealth Games held in Glasgow with a silver and bronze medal each. His shooting academy, Gun for Glory is considered among the best training centres in India, across different sports. The champion has been helping young shooters to perfect their sport. He spoke to ParentCircle to share his views on children taking up competitive shooting.Q. Shooting is still a very niche sport in India and needs a lot of support. What can be done to popularise it? A. I think shooting needs to find a place in the school curriculum, just like chess. It builds concentration, endurance and stamina. For the sport to grow, the teens and the tweens need to be exposed to it. Once they pick up their rifles/pistols, parents should take the initiative to help them learn and actively participate in the sport. In the beginning it is a good thing if they are exposed to as many sports as possible, so that they can pick from a reasonable range.Q. How can we get more children to be interested in this sport? A. Shut out their iPads and smartphones and get them to the playground. Parents play an active role in that. Electronic de-addiction is very important for today’s generation. Internet is a huge magnet and a distraction at the same time. Unless the time is divided between internet, studies and sports, they won’t manage to channelise their energies into active sports.Q. What are the prerequisites for a child to learn shooting?A. There are no prerequisites really. For any child to learn a sport, he/she has to be interested in it. It all starts with the interest and then the ‘intent’ to do well. Once you have both the ‘I’s in place, there is no looking back.Q. What is the right age for a child to take up shooting? A. I would imagine around 11 years onwards. It is very easy to get the child into correct posture, help develop focus, concentration and then prepare his/her body for the rigours of the sport. The challenge is to prevent him from early specialisation.Q. What role can parents play in supporting the children through their journey? A. Parents really need to be the support cast. They need to realise how much is too much. They should not be doing too much or too little. There are some parents who push children very hard because they want to get instant results, which is not possible in sports. Everything is a process. At times, that ends up in injuring the child. So parents really need to understand the weight of the situation and act accordingly.Q. What are the biggest challenges that one might face in shooting?A. There are several challenges on the road to becoming a professional shooter. Firstly, he/she has to find a mentor and coaches who would give right direction; get the right equipment, get the right programmes, funding and then finally shooting good enough scores to make the national team. There are several stages to it.Q. What are the facilities needed in the country for making shooting more accessible as a sport to aspiring kids? A. One needs a range, accessibility to equipment and coaches. It is not impossible to get that in today’s India but is not easy either. Shooting isn’t a club sports so one has to either get to the ranges or contact the federation for the nearest facility.8. What are the training facilities available? There are several facilities across the country. Gun for Glory has as many as over 15 centres across India. Besides that there are private facilities run by other shooters. The shooting federation too is helpful when individuals approach them.Q. How can children be kept motivated, as the sport needs a lot of practice and precision?A. In the beginning it is the parents and the coaches’ job to keep the kids motivated. And the only motivation should be to win an Olympic medal. Once the kid is into the sport, then he/she is able to motivate himself or herself. There is no need for external factors. Q. Shooting is a precision sport. What kind of life skills does it enhance?A. It makes one a complete individual. You learn professionalism, managing self, discipline, precision. All of these have a huge impact in one’s life because they are essential life skills.Q. You are a true champion. What has been your biggest moment?A. My biggest moment in the sport was the bronze medal at the London Olympics in 2012. But shooting 600/600 twice in competition was no less satisfying.Q. You won the bronze at London 2012. Great great feat. But, you also missed the gold by just 1 point. Did you miss it badly? How did you recover from so-near-yet-so-far experience?A. It was very sad to miss out on the gold at London. But a lot of pressure had built up going into the London Olympics and I just had one mission- to win a medal. So it was like the monkey off my back when I won the bronze. However, the one gut wrenching moment was 2008 Beijing Olympics when I missed reaching the finals on countback. That served as the springboard to my successes in the next four years.Q. You had once said that your parents had sold their plot to buy you the gun. Can you elaborate on that story? Does shooting need plenty of sacrifice from parents?A. My dad and mum did sacrifice a lot. I came from a middle class background with working class parents. They went beyond their limits in order to support me and a sport that was a very expensive proposition 20 years ago. Right now, a lot of it is available through programmes at the shooting academies. The reason I wanted to start GFG was to give back to the system – to help children with the facilities I did not have while growing up.Q. Often in shooting, it is seen that the difference between the top place and the tenth place is hardly a point or two. How important is mental strength and should that be a focus area from a very young age for children?A. To be mentally tough is critically important in any sport – more so in shooting. One will get several roadblocks on the road to glory, that is why, it is very important to form strategies and find ways to deal with it. In fact, by winning over those key moments of adversity, brings out the best in athletes.Q. What are the nutritional requirements for a shooter, say at the age of 10? What should the child do to gain stamina? A. Its too early to get so deep into the subject..Keep things simple and as they are initially. Let the child’s mind evolve on its own. Nutrition is important and early detection of food allergies helps in the long run.Q. What’s your message to all the readers of ParentCircle, India’s fastest growing web and mobile platform in the space of parenting?A.Please be patient and give the child, the right guidance.Hitting the Bull’s Eye – Quotable quotes from Gagan“It all starts with the interest and then the ‘intent’ to do well.”“Parents really need to be the support cast. They need to realise how much is too much.”“Shooting makes one a complete individual. You learn professionalism, managing self, discipline, precision.”“One will get several roadblocks on the road to glory. Winning over those key moments of adversity, brings out the best in athletes.”Hall of FameBronze medal at the 2012 London Olympics (10m Air Rifle event)4 gold medals each at the 2006 and 2010 Commonwealth GamesPrestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award in 2010Shattered the world record at the 2008 ISSF World Cup FinalRuns ‘Gun for Glory’, a world-class shooting academy at multiple locations
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Priyanka Maji: An Inspirational Story Passion is a very overlooked quality. Working on your craft for days and days with blinders on requires a very superior amount of dedication. Priyanka paints a clear picture of how important passion can be. She works a 9 hour shift at Dominos from noon to 10 at night. Prior to that, she puts in 3 hours of serious practice in hopes of mastering her sport; all this at the age of 22. She began rifle shooting four years ago with the NCC in Asansol, West Bengal. She received several accolades including a Bronze medal in her first All India NCC Inter Directorate Shooting Championship. While everything was going well she was challenged with a major obstacle. The thing about these obstacles is that they have the rightful authority to make or break a person. In Priyanka’s case, the obstacle not only made sure she came back stronger but also made her a very mature young adult. A young adult who has a mind open enough to dream big and a heart strong enough to work all out to achieve that dream. She is a rare concoction of the dreamers and the hard workers. Coming back to the obstacle; she could no longer practice shooting with NCC. Seeking a solution, Priyanka joined a private Shooting Club; however, the club had no Shooting Equipment and Rifle to support her. She didn’t give up though! With the support of her family, Priyanka decided to join the Gun for Glory (GFG) Shooting Academy, Pune: A decision that changed her life forever. To support her dream of shooting, Priyanka started working at Domino’s. It might not sound like much, but at her age, children are still testing their luck with the world. On the other hand, Priyanka has a goal in her mind and is willing to do anything to achieve this goal. When you are as focused as her, distractions rarely disrupt your routine. At GFG, Priyanka’s score has been steadily rising and she expects a Gold medal at the next National Competition. What’s more? She doesn’t have to worry about a weapon or a good coach anymore!
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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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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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GUN FOR GLORY: The World Class Shooting InfrastructureEvery GFG shooter will therefore have access to the full spectrum of training in the best environment.The Gun for Glory shooting Academy is housed in the Commonwealth Youth Games village at Balewadi in Pune. It has 10m, 25m and 50m Sius Ascor ranges and 10m manual pulleys. Gun for Glory is a global shooting academy, bringing to India a standard higher than ever before. It has few of the best coaches in World shooting today and a gunsmith to make customized grips. For India, it represents a new opportunity to produce world-beaters, from the large pool of talent available.The Balewadi Sports Complex also offers cutting-edge gyms and equipment, swimming pool, tracks, a Sports Science Centre and more. Every GFG shooter will therefore have access to the full spectrum of training in the best environment.Shooting InfrastructureOur Infrastructure has a state-of-the-art sports complex It’s built for everyone, and we always trying to simplify our training sessions.GYMWe truly care about our shooters and their fitness. Our fitness trainer support and help shooters to stay fit and fineRace TrackWe offers cutting-edge gyms and equipment, and more.amazingly cool environment with the tools we provide.Key Features Customized training program for world-class performanceInternationally renowned foreign coaches and gunsmithState of the art SIUS ASCOR electronic shooting rangesWorld class equipment, with Ammunition and pellet testingYoga, stress management and mind trainingSports injury and rehab management teamPhysiotherapists and dieticianExpert analysis including Scatt shooter training system and video analyzer, empowering distance trainingTraining the Trainer:Gun for Glory will also offer course modules for individuals aspiring to become coaches, as well as advanced training for existing coaches. Incorporating the latest techniques, our aim is to devise specialized programs that will churn out coaches of world standard, helping to put the country on the road to self-reliance in this field.
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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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