IMPHAL, July 9: Mizoram Rifle Association convened a press meet at the Khuman Lampak Shooting range announcing the 1st North East shooting Championship in Small Bore Rifle and Pistol events to be held in the second week of January, 2013 at Kulikawn Indoor Shooting Range, Aizawl, Mizoram.
Speaking to media persons, president of the association, Richard Zothankima said the North East Council will fund the said championship and provide Rs 19 lakh.
The championship will be titled in the name of the late son of the present Mizoram Chief Minister Lalthanhawla as “Zaua Sailo Memorial North East Shooting Championship”.
The championship will be categorised under Sub-junior, junior, youth, senior and journalist for both men’s and women’s. With 50 golds on the avail, shooters from all NE states including Sikkim can compete in the events of 10M rifle and pistol, 25M standard Pistol, center fire pistol and sports pistol and 50M rifle for both the sexes and 50M pistol rifle for only men.
The championship will also have a special event only for the journalists of the NE states. He also said shooting has become a popular game in the state of Mizoram with seven of the eight districts in the state setting up their own associations.
Elaborating on the birth of Mizoram Rifle Association, he said it was established in the year 2006 and the state has around 10 shooting range in the state including both completed and under construction ranges. Mizoram has also produced ten national level shooters. The association has 80 total shooters practicing under it including the 10 national level shooters, he said.
Mizoram organizes separate shooting championships for state legislatures, councillors, journalists, high school every year.
With the main objective to breed shooters in the state, the association also organize a unique ‘catch the young shooting competition’ in the state every year.
Coming back to the holding of the 1st North East shooting Championship in Small Bore Rifle and Pistol, the Manipur Rifle Association has agreed to assist the Mizoram Rifle Association with any possible help and will be providing five officials for the championship.
Meanwhile, the Mizoram Rifle Association president also apprise the media persons that the Manipur Rifle Association feels that the promotion of shooting sports with such championships will inculcate the spirit of national integrity and unity.
The Manipur officials to assist in the holding of the championship are L Tomba, Binodkumar Singh, N Birendra Kishore, L Kulabanta Singh and L Kheroda.
The Mizoram Governor Vakkom Purushothanman will be the patron in chief of the championship.
Meanwhile, Manipur has only one shooting range under the state government at Khuman Lampak.
The Manipur Rifle Association was established in the year 1963; however there has been no great achievement of the association other than organizing the shooting events of the 1999 National games at the Khuman Lampak Shooting range.
While Manipur has more than fifty national level shooters as compared to Mizoram’s ten, it is quite amusing that Mizoram has managed to bring such big championships as the 1st North East shooting Championship in Small Bore Rifle and Pistol, while Manipur has never organised shooting championships other than the shooting events of the 1999 National games.
It is time for the authorities to sincerely consider the fact that the Mizoram Rifles Association which is not even ten years old is way ahead of the Manipur Rifles Association which was established way back in 1963.
As compared to Mizoram’s multiple shooting range, Manipur has only one shooting range which is also controlled by the state YAS department.
It is high time for the government to encourage the shooters of the state by constructing shooting ranges or else the state proud of its sporting heroes will not be able to produce quality shooters in the future.