Will the shooting be restored in CWG 2022? Kiren Rijiju seeks 'personal intervention' of the British secretary of state for sport
NEW DELHI: In an important development, Sports minister Kiren Rijiju has written a letter to the Secretary of State of the United Kingdom for Digital, Culture, Media and Sports, requesting his personal intervention in matters of Shooting being excluded from Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games (CWG) programme. It's a big step forward in India's efforts to try and get Shooting reinstated as one of the sports in the 2022 Games.
In a letter written to Nicky Morgan , Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Rijiju wrote: "I am writing this letter to seek your personal intervention to get the sport of Shooting included in the Commonwealth Games , 2022, scheduled to be held at Birmingham, UK."
The Executive Board of the CWG Federation had decided to exclude Shooting from the programme for the 2022 Games. Since Shooting is one of the sports India has traditionally done very well in at the CWG, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) threatened to boycott the 2022 Games. It also angered the national Shooting federation (NRAI). Earlier, IOA officials had met the Sports minister and had apprised him about the situation.
"Unfortunately, at present India is not represented in the Commonwealth Games Executive Council and in the Functional Committees of Commonwealth Games . Therefore, it could not put forward its case for continuing inclusion of Shooting in Birmingham CWG, 2022," the letter from the Minister further added.
The IOA, as a protest, withdrew from participation in the CWG General Assembly and decided to refrain from certain Resolutions of the CGA Executive Board, Rijiju added in his letter.
The minister also mentioned how the world Shooting body, ISSF, has come forward to amicably resolve the issue.
"In a constructive gesture, the International Shooting Federation has offered to share the cost of inclusion of Shooting in Birmingham CWG, 2022," the letter further reads.
This is an important point, considering the CWG Federation's President, Louise Martin, had earlier said that the decision to exclude Shooting for the first time since 1974 had come down to logistics, adding that Shooting is not a compulsory sport.
The Minister has also informed the British Secretary of State for Sport that the IOA has already requested Martin as well as the CEO of the CWG Federation to reinstate Shooting in the 2022 Games.
At the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, Indian shooters had won 16 medals.