Indian Olympic bronze medallist Gagan Narang on Thursday will receive the Khel Protsahan award from the President for promoting shooting across the country and for guiding the young shooters in reaching world standards.
“This award is special. It is a recognition for giving back to the system and to the sport. The focus has been to help the shooters with better performances and also to broad base the sport. People had many questions, whether the sport was accessible, affordable’’, said Gagan, during his interaction with the media on Wednesday.
Gagan went on to thank Lakshya for helping him set up the Gagan Narang Sports Foundation with an initial investment of 20 lakh rupees while also stating that he had put in all his winnings from the Commonwealth Games into its development.
“The 20 shooters that we worked on initially went on to win 60 international medals. That motivated us to expand and reach out to talented juniors in other parts of the country. With whatever money we have, we try to support talented shooters,”
With the foundation currently under operation, its operations have helped a number of former shooters to get into coaching and guide the juniors more efficiently. In fact Gagan himself went on to state that the current generation of shooters needed only a couple of years to reach world standards but it was a completely different story back then.
“I had faced many hurdles in my journey as a shooter. Now, when you have a system, you cut a lot of time, and help the juniors achieve world standards quicker. What we did in 10 years, these kids achieve in three or four years. Now, anyone can just walk in and start in the sport without spending much money,’’ said Gagan.
On a finishing note, Gagan openly admitted that he would need a miracle to make it into the Indian side for the upcoming Asian Championships.