Boon or bane? Limited media interaction for shooters, coaches : The Tribune India

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Boon or bane? Limited media interaction for shooters, coaches

Boon or bane? Limited media interaction for shooters, coaches

Manu Bhaker will be one of India’s biggest hopes in the ISSF World Cup in Bhopal. file



Tribune News Service

Vinayak Padmadeo

Bhopal, March 21

In its quest to return to the glory days of Indian shooting, when the country’s shooters won four Olympics medals across three editions, the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) has come up with a new set of rules and regulations.

Led by their new high performance director Pierre Beauchamp, NRAI has been working to build on the idea of team spirit. The federation believes that the lack of team spirit hampered the sport as the shooters bombed at the last two Olympics.

The high performance director has also barred the shooters and the coaches from interacting with the media. In a meeting four days back, Beauchamp told the team that none from the contingent is supposed to speak to the media until after the end of their event. “We have been told to not talk to the media. I am willing to speak but you need to get prior clearances from NRAI,” said a rifle shooter.

A coach said: “We have been told to not speak to the media.”

However, NRAI president Raninder Singh said it is not a ban but a well-thought-out strategy. Raninder added that the body and the coaches have learned lessons from the past when a few shooters got excessive media coverage and that affected the performance at the Olympic Games.

“There is no rule (ban) as such. Our team feels it is a necessary part of mental training of our athletes. We have learned from our past mistakes. In certain cases there was excessive media coverage of the athletes that we feel affected them mentally during the events. We want to make sure that it does not happen again as we gear up for the Paris Olympics,” Raninder told The Tribune.

“This doesn’t mean that the media is not allowed to interact with them at all. It is just a question of (not talking) before a particular competition. We are very happy to facilitate the media. There is no ban. This is part of the programme in which we make the athletes conscious of the fact of how they should prepare for international competition. The focus is the Olympics Games,” he added.

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