Ace shooter Gagan Narang on Saturday asserted that he is focussed on developing talent from the grassroot level through his foundation to help India maximise the shooting medal tally at the 2024 Olympics.
“My vision is to get the maximum number of Olympic medals in 2024 and beyond. Earlier we used to focus on the elite shooters. Now we are focusing on the grassroots so we are bridging the gap completely,” the 2012 London Olympic bronze medallist told IANS in an interview.
The 34-year-old, who took bronze in the men’s 10m air rifle event at the 2012 Games, asserted that his Gagan Narang Sports Promotion Foundation has already started producing results with trainees Shreya Agrawal and para-shooter Swaroop Unhalkar bagging a silver medal each at the recently concluded 17th Kumar Surendra Singh (KSS) Memorial Shooting Championships.
“As far as results are concerned we already have three shooters in the first year when we started in 2011 we had won 103 international medals so in that way legacy in there,” Narang said.
The Chennai-born revealed that apart from training the shooters, the academy will also be focused on guiding the trainers through the newly-introduced The Project Leap.
“We have three division of coaches foreign, assistant and regional. Initially the assistant coaches will be trained under the foreign coaches and later the assistant coach will give lessons to the regional coaches through this programme,” Narang said.
The former rifle shooter also mentioned the different parameters through which the shooters will be selected to train in the academy.
“We are selecting 23 kids in the programme based on different parameters, like neurocognitive, metacognitive, there has also been physical tests. Basically we select shooters who have qualified in nationals,” the ace shooter said.
“The initial training is for one year but it towards preparation of 2020, 2024 Olympics if they remain in the project, there will be a 12 days camp which will be held five times a year” he added.