“GUN in skilful hands can prosper nation.” This is what Olympian Gagan Narang believes in. In fact, that idea triggered him to start Gun for Glory (GFG) academy across India. There are 19 centres, including the one inaugurated by Balakrishna Reddy, Tamil Nadu Youth Welfare and Sports

“GUN in skilful hands can prosper nation.” This is what Olympian Gagan Narang believes in. In fact, that idea triggered him to start Gun for Glory (GFG) academy across India. There are 19 centres, including the one inaugurated by Balakrishna Reddy, Tamil Nadu Youth Welfare and Sports Development minister, in Chennai on Wednesday. What makes Chennai shooting academy unique is its association with a sports medicine facility at Centre of Sports Science (CSS). A first of its kind in the state. It’s a big shot in the arm for upcoming shooters.

And it could not have come at a better time for rifle shooter Elavenil Valarivan. The 18-year-old, who won gold at ISSF junior World Cup in March, is one among the 10 shooters who will undergo a 10-day camp at CSS facility. She grabbed headlines with her world record effort (631.4) then but not many were aware of her struggles, a knee injury that had threatened to derail her career before take off. She said that fitness will be her priority in this camp, ahead of junior World Cup that will be held in Germany in June. Musculoskeletal treatment and postural assessment are some of the facilities in CSS. Shooters are susceptible to many injures as they carry out their task in one position for hours and hours. “Sports science provides a huge back up for any athlete.

From a shooting perspective, we have been able to do some unique things in podiatric point of view,” said Dr Sai Aditya, sports medicine physician at CSS. “For a shooter, posture is very important to determine stability for scoring. It is because of standing for long hours in a one-sided position they are prone to develop a lot of injuries in the back, knee and feet. To tackle that, we are able to support from sports science side. Rehabilitation is done. With that, we will also design insoles for them which will be a cushioning. These will correct flat feet while training for long hours.

Some of them practice 60 or 100 shots and this assists them,” he added The academy has a 10m shooting range for pistol and rifle with eight lanes of paper targets. Another eight lanes are completely automatic with electronic targets. Also, there are two 25m and three 50m range. And both the ranges are indoors, which is also a first in Asia. With grassroots level development being the key focus of Narang’s academy, GFG will be reaching out to as many schools as possible in Tamil Nadu.

“Students will be invited and will be taught how to handle guns. Curriculum- based approach will be given at GFG. After a certain level of training, they will be given imported weapons to handle in both pistol and rifle categories. Based on eight to ten parameters a scientific analysis is arrived at whether they will be effective with pistol or rifle,” said Yusuf Panvelwala, GFG administrator.