CHENNAI: Of late, Gagan Narang has been taking aim at different targets. And here too, the results have been overwhelming. Using the same faculty as he does during shooting, he captures vividly every facet of the object — from texture to angle.
Photography has helped him unwind. However, though he was reveling in his new-found love, something behind his back was irking him.
He was not been able to keep his mind off a project that would enable him to make champions. “Then I thought about this project,” he said.
The veteran rifle shooter is one of the most affable shooters in the circuit. Narang has helped many youngsters with his astute knowledge of the sport. The Gun for Glory Shooting Academy was established in 2011, and it all began due to the fact that he wanted a new challenge.
With ammunitions supplied by the Khel Ratna awardee, the Gagan Narang Sports Promotion Foundation (GNSPF) has unveiled an ambitious plan, called ‘The Project Leap’, to identify the 20 best talents across the country and provide them with world-class facilities.
The London Olympic bronze medallist says there is a realistic chance of achieving his target of producing medal winners in the 2024 Olympics.
A total of 55 shooters have been shortlisted right now and they will undergo trials in Pune. “The selection process is not yet over. There are 55 now and it will be Gun for Glory Shooting Academy pruned to 20 shooters — 10 each for rifle and pistol,” he says.
“We will take the services of foreign coaches for both pistol and rifle shooters.”
The lucky 20 will get an opportunity to train under some of the top international coaches. “Our idea is to hold a 60-day camp in Pune for the selected athletes. Right now, we don’t have full funding for the project but we are hopeful we will be able to get sponsors on board for the benefit of the shooters.”
“This is an ambitious project and I am sure I will be able to produce Olympic medallists by 2024. This something unparalleled in history of shooting in the country. You can say it is the first structured programme in India. Our target is 10 medals and it’s a realistic target. We have seven years with us.”
“We have selected the shooters from Gun For Glory centres because our coaches know them. We know their shortcomings and thrust areas. Our coaches can guide them well,” he said.