Shillong, Mar 28: Shillong is the venue for the first judges course organised by the National Rifle Association of India and it began today with 25 participants from around the country, including four from Meghalaya.

The course was declared open by Director of Sports & Youth Affairs Vibhor Agarwal. It is being hosted by the Shooting Association of Meghalaya at the State Convention Centre here.

In his remarks, Agarwal thanked the NRAI for choosing Shillong as the first venue for its judges course.

A total of 25 persons from different states are taking part in the first C-Level NRAI Judges Course. Those participating come from Assam, Bihar, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Karnataka, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Manipur, Odisha and West Bengal.

The shooters from Meghalaya are Balarishisha Rani, Davis NR Marak, Anjali Singh and John Thounaojam.

The NRAI’s education wing has embarked on a five-year plan to produce 9,000 coaches and 600 judges in view of the increasing number of shooters in the country. Presently there are 90,000 shooters registered with the NRAI, SAM’s General Secretary Neil Sootinck said in a press release.

In his speech, NRAI Director of Education Programme and Joint Secretary General, Pawan Singh, thanked SAM and the DSYA for being willing to host the event. He added that the association is considering Meghalaya for other events, such as high altitude training.

Guest of honour and the chief resource person, Henry Oka, an International Shooting Sports Federation instructor from Indonesia, hoped that the participants will have a beneficial three-day course and thanked SAM and the NRAI for the excellent hospitality and appreciated the wonderful climate of Meghalaya.

The ISSF-certified instructor was also one of the jury members at the recently-concluded ISSF World Cup Rifle/Pistol Bhopal 2023. He is the chief resource person for the course.

The welcome remarks at the opening ceremony were delivered by John F Kharshiing, SAM President and NRAI Vice-President.

Meanwhile, the NRAI officials also called on Commissioner of Sports & Youth Affairs, Vijay Kumar D, to discuss joint collaboration between the sporting stakeholders in order to enable Meghalaya to host and promote important NRAI events, starting with this judges course.

During the meeting, the NRAI officials filled in Kumar about the plans for a high altitude training centre, as, at present, Indian shooters are sent abroad for such training.

However, an international quality shooting range has to be set up if this proposed centre is to come to Meghalaya. SAM has an indoor practice facility but still requires use of the shooting facilities at the Assam Regimental Centre for competitive indoor events and all outdoor events.

(Shooting Association of Meghalaya photo)

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