Guns and glory

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first_imgCapt. Amarinder SinghPunjab continues to shoot on target with the best ranges, tournaments and, of course, the veterans. With well-equipped shooting ranges, the gun fans have been winning laurels for quite some time now. Their love of shooting comes from their families with a hunting tradition and they are taking,Capt. Amarinder SinghPunjab continues to shoot on target with the best ranges, tournaments and, of course, the veterans. With well-equipped shooting ranges, the gun fans have been winning laurels for quite some time now. Their love of shooting comes from their families with a hunting tradition and they are taking the sport to a professional level.Yuvraj Raninder Singh, the scion of the Patiala Royal family, has set a new template for other shooters in his ilk to emulate. The President of the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) and the Chairman of Punjab Rifle Association of India, Singh is the brain behind India’s best equipped shooting range. Having conceptualised the New Moti Bagh Gun Club (NMBGC) in 2006, he expanded it in 2009. Today, it is among the best-equipped ranges in the country that complies with international standards.Setting up a shooting range was a childhood dream for Singh, as he says, “You could say I was born into guns.” He learnt the basics of shooting with an air gun when he was seven. “I developed interest in the sport, my uncle Raja Randhir Singh took me under his wing. The Secretary General of the International Olympics Association and the winner of a gold medal in Trap Shooting at the 1982 Asian games, my uncle taught me the power of diligence, practice and focus needed in this sport.”Members of NMBGCEventually, Singh participated in the International Shooting Sport Federation World Cups and National Championships and holds the 6th position as a trap shooter in India. But his true calling was setting up a state-of-theart shooting range, “Punjabis worship and treasure their weapons like jewellery. Shooting is in our genes and if amateurs are trained well, we’ll make the best shooters in the world. So, I developed this range for Punjabis but consequently, shooters from Uttaranchal and UP are also coming here,” says Singh.His father Capt. Amarinder Singh, the current Maharaja of Patiala, had set up the original Patiala Gun club in the eighties, “It was a motley group of about 35 shooting enthusiasts from the region. But it has now expanded to 200 members. The club is now planning to host international events in the future,” says Amarinder, the club’s President. Yuvraj Raninder SinghSpread across 3.5 acres of land (in the Ghaggar flood area), the entire facility has three combined trap, skeet and double trap ranges (as per ISSF regulations). Elaborates Guddu Sandhu, treasurer of the club, “We have imported our voice-activated shooting machinery from Serena in Italy, where they make the best ones for the sport. Our ammunition has been imported by the NRAI. We provide our members with these on a no profit no loss basis.”The club also organises specialised coaching for upcoming member shooters once a year. But Singh plans to take this further, “Once we aren’t constrained by the amount of ammunition in our stock, we’ll have broad-based coaching camps open to all.”The club does have a lounge but no elaborate eating facilities are provided. “This is intentional as the club house is oriented to cater to the use of shooters and not towards socialising. Our aim is to concentrate only on the shooting sport activity,” says Parampal smilingly. Fact fileNMBGC successfully hosted the XIX GV Mavlankar All India Shooting Championship and the 53rd National Shooting (Shotgun) Championship.The selection trials and coaching camp for The Indian Shotgun Shooting team were held here in December 2009, March 2010 and April 2010.In 2006, the Indian Shotgun Masters was also held there. It was also the venue for the selection of the Mexico World Cup and China World Cup for shooting.advertisementlast_img

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