Shooting may still stay as a medal sport at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
Courtesy Alister Jack, the Member of Parliament from Dumfries and Galloway, a debate over shooting sports’ exclusion from the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham will be held in the House of Commons tomorrow.
The development follows a sustained effort by National Rifle Association of India’s president Raninder Singh and it is believed that India now has managed to get the cross-party support of a substantial number in the House of Commons, seeking re-inclusion of shooting in Birmingham.
“They (House of Commons) are raising it tomorrow. All this is happening because of NRAI president Raninder Singh, who has been quietly trying to get the Olympic sport of shooting back in the fold for the 2022 Games,” a top federation official has told PTI.
AN MP from the region has set his sights on returning shooting to the line-up at the next Commonwealth Games. Alister Jack has secured a debate on the subject at Westminster next week after taking up the issue on behalf of constituents. The MP for Dumfries and Galloway expressed astonishment when the sport was dropped from the 2022 Games programme for Birmingham.
Using powers as the host city, the organisers controversially had by-passed shooting when selecting their seven choices from the optional sports list. Shooting has been part of the line-up at all but one Commonwealth Games since being introduced in 1966.
Amongst constituents raising the issue with Mr Jack was shooter David McMath of Castle Douglas, who won a gold medal for Scotland in the men’s double trap category at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in April.
Jack said: “Shooting is a strong sport across all four home nations and the decision appears to be a bit of an own goal by potentially depriving David and other talented competitors of up to 57 medal opportunities. “The UK nations collected 38% of the shooting medals on offer at the Gold Coast. It is one of our strongest sports.”
He further pointed out that some optional sports currently included in the Birmingham Games offered far less medal-winning potential. He stated that shooting was a popular and inclusive sport bridging age and gender and attracted competitors in a majority of the teams, including smaller nations.
The MP suggested that concerns about a lack of a suitable shooting venue near the host city could be realistically overcome by 2022 as he welcomed the opportunity to lead a debate next Wednesday at 11 am in Westminster Hall putting forward the strong case for reinstating shooting to the next Commonwealth Games.
Indian shooters have been on target in netting rich haul of medals at the CWG shooting competition. They won an impressive 16 medals, including seven gold at the Gold Coast Games in April.