By Our Sports Writer | Opening Doorz Editorial | July 20, 2017

Gagan Narang Sports Promotion Foundation’s (GNSPF) announced a long-term association with Olympic Gold Quest for its ambitious programme, Project Leap, conceived to identify and train young shooting talent in the country. The first leg of the rifle camp, held at Balewadi, Pune, concluded earlier this week on a high note, leaving the kids, coaches and the support staff asking for more.

Project Leap began by first selecting 23 young shooters from different parts of the country out of a total of 57 shortlisted shooters. Comprehensive and scientific selection trials involving physical, meta-cognitive and technical skills were evaluated before twelve kids from Pune, three from Hyderabad and Secunderabad, two from Jabalpur and one each from Mumbai, Bhubaneshwar and Gujarat were selected. The list included twelve girls and eleven boys.

Mahima Agarwal from Jabalpur and Elanevil of Gujarat, incidentally, are already part of the National junior team and represented India at the recently-concluded Junior World Championships in Suhl, Germany.

The 12 chosen ones in the Air Rifle Category were then invited to an elite junior excellence camp in Pune which was conducted by ace Slovakian coach Anton Belak and Olympic Medalist Gagan Narang himself. The other 11 in the Air Pistol category are currently undergoing training in Pune under Korean Coach Kim Seonil. Both foreign coaches were very happy with the selected pool of talent and the execution of the programme. This is the first leg of the five camps that have been planned to nurture young talent into champion shooters, with both GNSPF and OGQ contributing their might and expertise in equal measure.

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“I am happy that we were able to realize our long term vision with the help of OGQ not only through funding but going much deeper into sport science, nutrition and recovery which are very important aspects for Junior shooters. OGQ supported me at a time when it was really required. This association further strengthens my belief in OGQ which goes beyond just financial help into taking care of the emotional well-being and eco system around the athlete. I want the younger generation to get the same kind of support going forward into Vision 2024 and beyond.” An emotional Gagan said.

“It is a matter of great pride for OGQ to be involved with Project Leap,” Viren Rasquinha, CEO of OGQ, said. “Gagan was the first athlete to be supported by OGQ 10 years ago and now we are proud to have a very strong association with GNSPF through Project Leap. What attracted us to the project was the strong scientific processes and implementation plans put together by Gagan and his team and the long-term vision of Project Leap which aligns with the OGQ Junior scholarship programme.” he added.

Also Read: The Viren Rasquinha Interview

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