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As part of the High Performance partnership between the JSW Group and the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI), 11 members of the Indian senior shooting squad completed a 5-day training-cum-conditioning camp at the Inspire Institute of Sport (IIS) on Sunday.
The shooters, who are preparing for the ISSF World Cup beginning next month in Delhi, attended a series of workshops and practical training sessions aimed at enabling them to better manage the rigours of elite sport ahead of the Olympic Games in Tokyo later this year.
The shooters in attendance included a mix of experienced hands like Apurvi Chandela, Anjum Moudgil and Mairaj Ahmad Khan along with talented youngsters including Manu Bhaker and Divyansh Singh Panwar. Other shooters at the camp were Deepak Kumar, Abhishek Varma, Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar, Rahi Sarnobat, Yashaswani Singh Deswal and Chinki Yadav. The team was accompanied by pistol coach Ved Prakash Pilania and junior national rifle coach Suma Shirur.
“Initially we were all a little confused when we were told that we would be spending a week training without our weapons and anything related to our sport. But when we reached here, I was blown away by the positive training environment at the institute, which I think is perfect for an athlete to grow mentally and physically. I have never stayed at a hostel before, and the discipline followed by all the athletes here was my biggest takeaway from the week,” said Manu Bhaker, the 2018 CWG Gold Medalist and winner of five 2019 ISSF World Cup Gold medals.
The camp followed from the strategic partnership signed by the two organisations in December 2018 under which JSW would fund NRAI’s high performance requirements to develop Indian shooters ahead of the Tokyo 2020 and Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
During the course of the week, the shooters underwent MSK testing by the IIS physiotherapy department and attended sessions on aspects such as injury prevention, diet & nutrition, sleep management and jet-lag, and received support from the team of expert physiologists along with strength and conditioning coaches at the institute. The camp also included sessions from experts on managing pressure, handling the media, social-media management and the importance of athlete interest in the face of commercial and sponsorships engagements.
"This camp was a great introduction to the team to understand the various facets of high performance training, the shooters could interact with specialists in their fields, so overall, they benefitted from this exposure,” said Suma Shirur, High Performance coach of the Junior National Rifle team.
This was the second instance of a senior national team visiting IIS after the Boxing Federation of India hosted the Elite men’s boxing national camp at Bellary for two months earlier this year. The state-of-the-art institute is India’s first privately funded High Performance Training Centre established by the JSW Group and as a Khelo India-accredited institute, has hosted a number of professional teams and athletes on its campus for training, rehabilitation and conditioning camps.
JSW Sports’ Head of Sports Excellence Manisha Malhotra spoke about the importance of empowering and educating Indian athletes with support systems to prepare them for life as elite athletes. “All of these shooters are champions and we were very clear that we didn’t want to reinvent the wheel with this camp. Rather, the idea was to help provide certain tips and best practices that some of them may want to include into their programs to help them manage themselves better through the season.”