Phagwara: India's ace international shooter couple Heena Sidhu and Ronak Pandit on Tuesday offered their expertise for the budding shooters of home state Punjab if the players were provided good shooting range facility in the region.
Talking to newsmen here after visiting the Shooting Range of a private school, the husband-wife shooter duo said they were ready to provide required shooting tips to the youngsters even though their own competition schedule was quite tight.
"Punjab has a lot of talent in sports, including shooting, and proper coaching and training will go a long way in channelising the talent," said Heena, now settled in Mumbai after her marriage to Pandit, who is also her coach.
This year's Arjuna awardee, Heena, to a query, admitted that sometimes the prestigious ward was given 'pre-maturely' to someone less deserving. Chipping in, her husband Pandit said that Heena deserved to be bestowed with this award two years ago.
"She felt very bad when she was ignored last year as well", he remarked. Heena said, though she was wedded to shooting just for the love of sport and not for awards, yet timely award bestowal to the deserving sportspersons did motivate them further.
She wished that award-giving committee should work transparently and judiciously. She declared that winning a gold medal for the country in the Olympics was now her target.
"Rather, it was the dream target of every athlete", she said. However, she added that she will do her very best for an Olympic medal but won't run after it. "If I run for medals, I won't be able to shoot", she quipped. She said that a good shot was her target.
She said that shooting as sports has bright future and its growth was amazing. Having interaction with students, Heena, 25, said that the love of shooting took her to this sport and she fired first time from a shotgun when she was just five. "I still have feel of that shot", she said.
When a student asked for tips to release match pressure, she said that deep breathing before a shot released lot of stress. "Besides breathing, visualising a good shot, hard training and physical exercise of back, shoulders and body's core part contributed a lot in making a good shooter", she said.
Asked about the big challenge she faced, Heena said that studying dental surgery and practising shooting at the same time posed a big challenge.
"I could not watch TV or movies or go out with friends then", she said.