Sports minister Kiren Rijiju has written a letter to Nicky Morgan, member of parliament in the UK, seeking her personal intervention to try and include shooting in the 2022 Commonwealth Games, scheduled to be held in Birmingham.
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 letter dated September 3, said the decision of the CGF executive board to exclude shooting is based on the premise that shooting had never been a compulsory sport and there is no venue available for holding shooting events.
“Unfortunately, at present, India is not represented in the Commonwealth Games executive council and in the functional committees of the Commonwealth Games. Therefore, it could not put forward its case for the inclusion of shooting in 2022 Birmingham CWG,” Rijiju mentioned in the letter.
The sports minister further wrote, “As you are aware, the Commonwealth of Nations comprises 53 countries with a population of 2.4 billion. India alone has more than half of this. India has always been a strong votary and supporter of the Commonwealth and would continue to be so”.
“The Indian public takes keen interest in shooting events involving Indian shooters. In a constructive gesture, the International Shooting Federation has offered to share the cost of inclusion of shooting in Birmingham CWG. I request your personal intervention in ensuring the continued inclusion of shooting in 2022 CWG,” the letter from the minister further added.
Earlier, the executive board of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) had decided in June, to exclude shooting from the 2022 Games, after which the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) had threatened to boycott the event.
The exclusion of shooting has emerged as a massive blow to the Indian sporting circuit since India had performed relatively well in shooting in recent years.
Indian shooters had bagged 16 medals, including seven gold, at last year’s Gold Coast games where they finished in third place with 66 medals.
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 will be the first time since 1974 that the discipline of shooting will not be part of the Commonwealth Games and second time since shooting was introduced in the event in 1966.