The National Rifle Association of India has expressed its commitment to host a separate Commonwealth Shooting Championships in 2022 and endorsed the Indian Olympic Association's idea of adding medals won in that event to the Birmingham Games tally.
NRAI President Raninder Singh was part of a recent meeting, held in Munich on December 5, between the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) and Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF). The meeting had discussed ways to make up for the sport's exclusion from the roster of the 2022 Birmingham Games.
Having got an encouraging response to its proposal to host a separate shooting event just before the 2022 CWG, Raninder wrote to IOA President Narinder Batra, assuring its full commitment to hosting the tournament and seeking the apex body's cooperation in helping it submit a "formal proposal" to the CGF.
"The NRAI is willing to host a Commonwealth Shooting Event in India at an appropriate venue commencing on the 14th of March 2022, to coincide with the occasion of Commonwealth Day," Raninder said in the letter.
Making a brief outline of the proposal, he wrote, "... this offer is made to the CGF ... that upon completion of its regulatory and administrative review process, the competent authority of CGF, accords its approval & acceptance to medals awarded at this proposed event being accorded equal protocol as any medals won by a competing nation at the main event conducted later in the Birmingham CWG.
"In essence, these medals would be treated in nature as an opening balance for each competing nation to build upon by competing in those other events in Birmingham. Thus affording nations the capability to maximise their medal potential at the CWG, an issue central & so established by the IOA to the CGF," he added.
The NRAI chief, who is also a vice-president of ISSF, said the organising committee of the Birmingham Commonwealth Games will be, in no way, involved in financing the shooting tournament in India, even though by implication (of medals won there are proposed to be added to the final tally) may be considered a part or extension of the 2022 CWG.
"... The NRAI is willing to provide eligible athletes and their accompanying coaches/staff for this event, exclusively at its own expense; Airfare to & from the venue, Quality Hotel Lodgings, Meals, All Local Transportation, Adequate Free Training."
He added in the letter, "Though very welcome to do so, should any competing nation wish to enter additional athletes or a nation that did not compete at the Gold Coast in shooting events wish to now compete at this event, then these athletes & official would not be eligible to any such support and it would be the responsibility of the NF's & NOC's of such new entrants to make suitable arrangements for them."
As a rule, the national federation, with help from ISSF, bear all the expenses in hosting tournaments sanctioned by the sport's international apex body.
"The NRAI shall be solely responsible for undertaking and delivering these games and no such expense mentioned afore, shall in any manner be the responsibility of the IOA, ISSF, CGF, & the CSF, unless any of them voluntarily contribute purely of their own mind and willingness."
The CGF has written to the IOA president Batra, informing about the joint proposal of the ISSF and the NRAI on hosting a Commonwealth shooting competition in India, prior to the 2022 Birmingham Games.
After shooting, which is an 'optional sport' in CWG, was dropped from the Birmingham Games, the IOA chief had proposed the country's withdrawal from the Games.
During the meeting in Munich, a host of other critical issues concerning shooting in CWG were discussed.
Raninder further wrote in the letter, "The ISSF agreed to assist the CGF robustly in development initiatives materially & technically for territories & nations that are member states of the CGF & the ISSF.
"The ISSF agreed to the recognition of scores rendered by athletes in the CWG for consideration towards the establishment of World Records & their Equal for both Qualification & Finals.
"Further the ISSF also agreed in principal to accord the shooting events of the CWG as a designated Olympic MQS enabling championship. These are of course subject to certain qualitative criterion which made known and acknowledged by all concerned."