By Susil Premalal
The National Shooting Sport Federation (NSSF) will conduct the Trap Open Meet from March 11 to 14 at the Payagala Shotgun Shooting Range.
As the sport of shooting returns following the Covid-19 pandemic, NSSF has initiated the commencement of its Trap and Skeet (Shotgun events) competitions. The Clay Target Shooting Club of Colombo’s Shotgun Range in Payagala will serve as the venue for these competitions.
Mohan Gilbert, the NSSF Vice President responsible for the development of Shotgun disciplines, highlighted that more young shooters are needed to nourish this discipline which draws high spectator participation. Initially parental support in way of funding will be required to develop young blood, since Shotgun shooting happens to be the most expensive shooting discipline among the Olympic Shooting disciplines.
The Clay Target Shooting Club of Colombo (CTSCC), affiliated to the NSSF has provided its Shotgun Shooting Range facility in Payagala, for all NSSF conducted Trap and Skeet events, stated Gilbert.
In addition, the NSSF conducted its first Online Skeet participation at the inaugural Asian Online Shooting Championship.
Unfortunately, the NSSF was not able to participate in the Trap event since the Trap Shooting configuration existing at the Payagala Shotgun Shooting Range does not conform to Olympic Trench specifications which would require an additional Rs 20 million to be invested. The NSSF has requested the Ministry of Sports to extend a loan of Rs. 10 million to the Clay Target Shooting Club of Colombo to be paid back in 10 years.
The NSSF also hopes to conduct a Shotgun Referees Course to increase the number of referees.
Gilbert urged Shotgun shooters to increase their training schedules and achieve the Olympic minimum qualifying score which is 114 for Skeet and 112 for Trap.