The Sports Authority of India Tuesday said five shooting coaches were rejected from a list of 29 submitted by the national shooting federation for not meeting the requisite criteria and termed the NRAI’s objection to its decision as “illogical”. The SAI’s decision to dismiss the appointment of five shooting coaches irked the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) President Raninder Singh, who wrote a letter to the government body, stating the move was “insensitive” and an “affront to our sport and human intellect”. But SAI responded sharply, saying that it was “surprised” by such a late reaction from the NRAI after it “duly acknowledged” the decision conveyed to it on July 26.
“SAI held discussions with NRAI on the panel of 29 coaches which was submitted for appointment for the training of Indian shooters. Following these detailed consultations, a panel of 24 coaches was approved,” SAI Special Director General Onkar Kedia said in a letter addressed to the NRAI President. “The decision of the SAI was conveyed to NRAI on July 26 which was duly acknowledged by your office. It is, therefore, quite surprising that you raise these issues six weeks later without any reference to the consultations, discussions and correspondence that has been held with SAI on this issue,” he said.
Kedia said that the five coaches — Shreayan Kapoor, Amar Jung, Jitender Beniwal, M S Bhangale and Nilanjana Ghoshal — were rejected because they did not possess requisite qualifications for the job. He insisted Kapoor and Ghoshal have never competed at the international level nor do they have any coaching certificate.
Amar Jung, who played at the national level and has a ‘C’ level coaching certificate obtained in 2017, was not experienced enough to handle international shooters, stated the body. Beniwal too has done a ‘C’ level coaching course in 2017 but was not experienced enough and has no personal achievements to boast of, according to SAI. Bhangale, meanwhile, did not appear for the interview at all.
All the rejected candidates were rejected were shotgun coaches. SAI said the appointment letters of four coaches — Mansher Singh (chief coach – shotgun), Ved Prakash (chief coach – senior pistol), Monali Manohar Ghore (pistol coach) and Vishavdev Singh Sidhu (junior shotgun coach) will be issued soon.
“We would also like to point out that in addition to these 24 coaches, SAI has funded coaching and training of 17 shooters under Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS),” Kedia said in the letter.
The SAI has termed NRAI’s reaction to the “sanction letters issued on August 27 and September 7” as “completely illogical”.