Punjab’s Badal village produces shooting stars for Indian sports

LudhianaAbohar/Ludhiana, Jan. 7 : Punjab, which has produced many national and international sportspersons, holds a big pool of talent in its rural areas. With proper training it could be harnessed to represent the country.

Badal Village in the southwest Punjab is a one such place, which has one of the best and ultra-modern sports infrastructure. Its shooting range today acts as a nursery for all budding female shooters, as it prepares them for national as well as international championships.

Today, Badal Village has established its name for being a centre for quality education and sports. Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal also hails from this village.

The village also empowers women by taking care of their educational needs at Dashmesh Girls'' College. But the major attraction of the college is its state-of-the-art shooting range which was established in 2,000. Recently, for its upgradation, 300,000 USD were spent.

With air-conditioned and soundproof facilities, it provides excellent facilities to girls to prepare for national and international championships. The world-class sports infrastructure and quality education enables the girls here to become confident and competitive.

“Shooting requires a good concentration. As when the child starts taking the game seriously, his or her power of imagination and personality start growing. In other sports, children need to concentrate more on their diet and have to workout properly. With that they are not able to spare more time for their studies,” said Virpal Kaur, the shooting coach, Dasmesh Girls college of Education.

“Comparatively, shooting is more a mental game rather than physical. This sport helps children in their studies and they are able to improve their power of concentration,” Virpal added.

Supported by the Sports Authority of India (SAI), the academy takes in 50 girls from the north Indian states.

Among the seven international sportspersons from the academy,

Avneet Kaur Sidhu, one of the seven international sportspersons from the academy, represented India in the 10m Air Rifle at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Besides training the academy also provides free accommodation, food and other facilities like weapon, ammunition and targets to the students. The academy enrolls girls belonging to rural India and those who are economically deprived.

Rishu Tomar, one shooter, said: “Girls in villages normally face restrictions Whereas girls in the cities openly express their views. I believe, village girls have talent and they also want to achieve their goals and express their views. The villagers should encourage girls and definitely they will perform better than boys.”

India''s gold in the shooting at the Beijing Olympics has boosted the morale of the shooters in the country. And, to promote sports Punjab, as a State, is making a huge contribution.

The State recently organized 18th All India G. V. Mavlankar Shooting Championship that attracted over 1600 shooters.

Though shooting is an expensive sport, but with academies and the government giving it good financial support, a good future for sports can be anticipated. (ANI)