The National Rifle Association of India have decided to schedule a national camp for the 32 Olympic Core Group of Shooters from August 1, at New Delhi’s Dr Karni Singh Shooting Range.

NRAI would ensure all necessary coordination and support in this regard to ensure a smooth resumption of national shooting activities, in keeping with all the Government of India and Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports guidelines in place.

It may be recalled that the Sports Authority of India had declared the DKSSR open and available for training for the core group on July 8, following which a few locally-based members of the group have been availing the training and practice facilities.

Elaborating on the decision, Raninder Singh, President of NRAI, said, “While the DKSSR was made available a week back, given the varying situations across the country and the recent unfortunate spurt in Covid-19 cases in New Delhi, required that the utmost and most meticulous planning needs to be placed above all in the very strictest and most sterile conditions that we must now [in conjunction with SAI and the Administrator of DKSSR] assure.”

“The health and safety of the players and coaches being paramount, we cannot afford any loose ends. NRAI can today say that it is fully prepared to resume a cautious and phased recommencement of National Shooting activities from next month,” he added.

Attendance shall be compulsory for this camp as the unprecedented circumstances found globally with the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic dictates, that NRAI’s options at being accommodating are virtually zero.

Meanwhile, it was also decided that the Manav Rachna University campus, which is an International Shooting Sport Federation training academy, and located close to the DKSSR in Faridabad or a Government approved accommodation, would house the core group, coaches and its support staff. NRAI would also arrange transport to and from the venue.

Manav Rachna has demonstrated to the governing body that they can provide world-class hygiene conditions and deploy the necessary safety precautions as required in the times.

High-Performance Manager and former India shooter Ronak Pandit, was also appointed the nodal officer in charge of overall coordination for hygiene and medical protocols of the camp on behalf of NRAI. He would be the vital link between athletes, coaches, support staff, the final accommodation authorities and SAI’s approved medical staff. Among his responsibilities would be to ensure that all necessary safety precautions and guidelines related to Covid-19 were being followed and implemented by all parties concerned.

In this regard, the NRAI shall be issuing its own and additional protocols that shall be strictly implemented in addition to those issued by SAI India, and naturally shall also be adhered to.

The President, NRAI, further expanded by adding that all campers (athletes, officials, coaches and support staff) shall be segregated and kept under the strictest of quarantine-type conditions and shall initially be required to submit a valid and recent Covid-19 test result from their home locations and only then shall they be permitted to join the camp, that is exclusively being conducted for the elite Olympic Core Group Athletes and shall be a combined camp.

The NRAI Standard Operating Procedure manual shall be made public through its website a week prior to the start of the camp and all eligible campers must necessarily comply with it.

The NRAI is also working on a plan as Step two to start segregated camps for its core group of Athletes, both in the senior and junior categories, by isolating athletes for all three disciplines, separately in separate camps. This is a very important necessity as a year has been lost effectively and 2022 shall see qualifications coming for the Paris Olympics and the NRAI cannot ignore the preparations of its bench strength to go out then and maximise the quotas for Paris.

The NRAI is also working on organising limited by size (for which it will be seeking the support of the ISSF) quality bilateral engagements for its Olympic squad and after a very limited review (subject to approval of concerned committees and Governing Body of the NRAI) of its policies to take into account the current necessities in a post Covid world, also allow the natural flow of select athletes as team members in such bilateral engagements as well (this is subject to approval of GOI and SAI).