Hyderabad: Telangana’s Sports minister Srinivas Goud is an out and out politician. So we thought! But he turned out to be something else when he stepped into the shooting range of Sports Authority of Telangana State at Hyderabad Central University on Wednesday.
As effortlessly as a duck takes to water, Goud picked up the .22 Walther pistol and fired several shots like a pro even as the dignitaries including our own Olympic medal winner and ace shooter Gagan Narang watched in disbelief. Not just the pistol, he tried his hand on a .22 Walther rifle, a shot gun and an air rifle at the 10 meter range too. And, he did manage to hit the bull’s eye several times too. “He looked very enthusiastic and hit the targets nicely,” said Narang.
The surprising event was unveiled at the Gagan Narang Sports Promotion Foundation (GNSPF) where an Olympic experience session was arranged in the presence of the SATS chairman A Venkateshwar Reddy and several other sports persons.
Goud later told Telangana Today that he still nurtures a passion for shooting. “I am a life member of the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) and I have a licensed weapon too”.
That the sports minister is not just a politician but a sportsperson too echoed in his speech. “I want to see more Gagan Narangs emerging from the state,’’ Goud said after spending over two hours at the two shooting ranges. He promised to upgrade the shooting ranges in Hyderabad saying that more shooters from Hyderabad should shine in the world. “Hyderabad has become the nursery of Indian badminton. We want to make shooting as popular as badminton in the state. We want more Olympians in shooting from the State,” he said.
Narang said the Gun for Glory Academy would shortly upgrade the range. “It is one of the best ranges in the country. Recently, we installed Rs 3 crore worth of shooting equipment at the range. We want to encourage shooting from the grassroot level from the state. We are proud that Elavenil Valarian, who is World No.1 10m air rifle and who is participating in the Tokyo Olympics is from our academy. So are other young shooters like Esha Singh and Dhanush,” he said.
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