Gagan Narang moots IPL-style shooting league

Hyderabad: Inspired by the success of cricket`s Indian Premier League, ace marksman and London Olympic medallist Gagan Narang has favoured a similar club competition for shooting to popularise the sport in the country.

"It`s quite a challenging project because the Olympic style of shooting is a little difficult. The challenge is to make it more spectator-friendly. So, we are working on it. Hopefully, we will soon come out with a league in all three formats which will be shot gun, rifle and pistol," said Narang.

He, however, said evolving a shooting league is a challenging issue as the rules of the game are different for each format which needs to be popularised among sports-lovers.

"It is an extensive lay-out. It is not something like cricket where it is played in a certain way. Shooting is very challenging because?10 metre air rifle you have different rules, short gun you have different rules.

"You need to create awareness about the whole project for the common man to understand it. So, it is going to be challenging. But I think it is a brilliant concept because holding a gun and shooting, there is no better high than that. As kids, we have all handled shot guns. From there on, there is no transition. It stays in the toy box. The idea is to get the transition and bridge the gap between the toy box and the shooting range," he said.

Replying to a query, Narang said he cannot put a time-frame on when the league could become a reality but hoped to see that happening soon.

The bronze medallist in the 10m air rifle event at the London Games, Narang said shooting scene is improving in the country with many talented young players showing great promise and that they need to be groomed to emerge as big players.

"Shooting is picking up quite a bit. There are many shooters coming up. The kind of encouragement the government is giving is fantastic. Definitely, we are much talented in shooting. We see that at my academy, out of 10 people, six are nationally talented for shooting and they hit the target on the first shot.?So, I think we have immense talent and we just need to tap it without any selfish interest and promote the sport," he said.

The 30-year-old said the game can become more popular by establishing more academies to train young players and with the support of government, corporate entities and the media.

"There are certain ways we are working on. The government support is important. It is an expensive sport. We need a lot of infrastructure requirements for it. The government has done a wonderful job by sanctioning a lot of money and funding for the federation. I think more academies should come up like Gopichand Academy or probably my academy.

"When you have proper infrastructure, proper guidance, proper training, there is no stopping. With the right kind of support and push from media and the corporates, I think it will take us to a new whole level," he said.


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