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Updates found with 'youngster'

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Updates found with 'youngster'

Know your legend: Sanjay Chakravarty, the man who has given India some of its finest shooting stars.In his 40-year coaching career, the Dronacharya awardee, has helped guide champion shooters like Anjali Bhagwat and Gagan Narang among others.Shooting coach Sanjay Chakravarty continues to mutter something under his breath everytime a young rifle shooter at the Veer Sawarkar shooting range in Mumbai takes a shot and then tries to analyse his effort by looking at the target card.“You have to study your own position and not the shot to become a better shooter, ” he tells this correspondent. “The target doesn’t move, its your body that moves, ” the 76-year-old exclaims.The youngster probably wasn’t aware that he was training in the presence of a former India international, who is credited with producing some of India’s finest marksmen.Chakravarty is wondering whether to walk up and talk to the youngster.In a coaching career that has spanned over 40 years, Chakravarty has molded careers of many such youngsters and made them into champion shooters.Anjali Bhagwat, Deepali Deshpande, Anuja Tere (now Jung) and then Suma Shirur and London Olympics bronze medallist Gagan Narang are just a few who have trained under Chakravarty.Born in Uttar Pradesh, Chakravarty began his shooting career only after joining the Indian Navy. Though he represented India in quite a few international events, coaching proved to be his true calling.He doesn’t quite remember the number of players he has worked with in these years. “I never had an academy set up, it was not easy to keep a tab on the number of shooters who trained under me, ” he reasons.There are some number, though, which cannot be forgotten. Between them, his wards have so far won over 100 international medals, including a dozen podium finishes at the Commonwealth Games and a number of them at the World Cup.Building foundation for shootingSpeaking recently at a gathering of national-level shooters, Bhagwat recalled how tips from a senior shooter during a shooting camp kick-started her journey to becoming one of India’s premier shooters.“We had gone to the Worli shooting range as part of our NCC shooting course, ” Bhagwat said. “We were really really struggling when one senior shooter walked up to us to give tips and that is how it all started, ” she added.That senior shooter was Chakravarty, who was then part of the Services team.As a senior shooter, Chakravarty was also helping the team members at the range when he saw a group of young girls practicing and felt they had the spark to become good shooters.“I played for India but I always wanted to take up coaching, ” says Chakravarty.“After working with Anjali, Deepa and others felt like they had the spark to do something special, ” he explained.The technical know-how about the sport wasn’t as advanced in India as it is today. Chakravarty was first few who helped bring in professionalism and built the foundation of success for the youngsters on hard work and self-realisation of their strengths and weaknesses.“It was a very important role he played in our lives because we started in those days when everything was so unprofessional, ” recalls Bhagwat. “I didn’t know at the time that such a sport existed in the world and that it’s played at the international level.“We started from scratch. The knowledge which Sanjay sir also had was very limited. We actually grew together. That work was very important. And due to him, our basics are very strong, ” says Bhagwat, adding the coach was a very hard task master and that helped them stay focused.“We started and everywhere we had problems. We had problems in equipment, accessories, no ammunition, no ranges. We used to practice (for 50m events) by cutting our targets of that size and putting it on the 25 metres. In those conditions, we have started. But the only thing why we could survive was the push and a strong faith in our skill and capability and our calibre which Sanjay Sir gave us, ” she adds.Wry sense of humourApart from this, Chakravarty boasted of strong communication skills. His style of using sense of humour to drive home the point or motivate the players, stood out.Explaining the way he dealt with situations, Suma Shirur says, “Once we had gone for a Nationals. And it was an open-sight Nationals. I had to qualify for the nationals... I won the gold and I did fantastic. And then immediately I had to go for the nationals. So I went a high note and I was like ‘Wow, I’m in the nationals and I can do it.’“So I went to the match and my rifle broke. My cylinder started leaking. So I was shooting and the shots were dropping. I didn’t know what was happening. They tried to repair it, it didn’t work. But I just kind of hung on. I finished my match and I came out and I was so disappointed. It was a disaster. But I couldn’t see Sir anywhere. I’m like ‘Where’s Sir? Can’t find him anywhere.’“And then I went out, and I saw Sir sitting under a tree smoking. Sir is a chain smoker. He was sitting under the tree smoking, and I went there and I could’ve just started crying. But sir very calmly just told me ‘Thank God, this was not the Olympics.’ That one line just changed everything. That one line made me forget about what happened. That one line instilled that confidence in me despite the failure that I can do it. It’s the one line that defined my future and it was then on it was only the Olympics that was in my mind, ” said Shirur, who reached the 10m Air Rifle final in the 2004 Athens Olympics.The 76-year-old insists his focus as a coach was to let the players understand themselves and he felt that all technical adjustments had to be worked around that knowledge. “If you know your body properly, if you are say about 5 feet 2 inches in height, you should know what 5 feet 2 inches is properly. If you know, you can stop (control the movement of the body while shooting) it. And if you can stop it, you’re world number one. It’s very simple, ” says Chakravarty.That is precisely why even when he was part of the national squad, Chakravarty made it a point not to try and change the techniques of any players, who were not directly working with him as that would only confuse them.Gunning for gloryEven when he later joined the Gagan Narang’s Gun for Glory academy in Pune, it was with the motivation to work with younger shooters. He mostly concentrated on helping them understand the nitty-gritties and motivated them to go the extra yard.“He would normally call us to the room, chat with us, make us read motivational books after training and try to prepare us for next day’s sessions, ” says Shriyanka Sadangi, who represented India in many junior internationals while she was training in Pune.At 76, Chakravarty doesn’t travel much but makes it a point to come and sit at the Savarkar centre once a week to just watch youngsters shoot.“I did not marry. Shooting was everything for me, ” says Chakravarty. “It still feels good when I come and sit hear. Not many of these shooters know me but I am happy to come and watch, ” says the coach, who helped build Mumbai’s first 10 metre shooting range outside the Maharashtra Rifle Association facility at the Ruia college.His students held a special function to felicitate him when he turned 75 and then collectively nominated him for a Dronacharya Award which he received in August last year. While Chakravarty is happy to be conferred the honour, he insisted he never thought a lot about it.“Once you keep on working, I don’t think you see towards that. Because you are so busy with the players and even if you’re not coaching them, you know he can still become an international but I’m not coaching him. You see that also is a journey. So award - reward doesn’t come (to mind) because it doesn’t give me anything. Just a few rupees for smoking purposes, ” he adds.The award, however, has rekindled his interest in coaching and if anyone approaches him, he says he is once again ready to start from scratch and help produce another champion shooter.
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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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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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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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