The Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports, Kiren Rijiju has written a letter to the United Kingdom Sports Secretary seeking the inclusion of Shooting in the Commonwealth Games of 2022 to be held in Birmingham. Along with this, the International Shooting Federation has also offered to share the cost of including Shooting as a sport in the games. This comes after the Birmingham Organising Committee axed the sport of Shooting from the Commonwealth Games due to logistical reasons. Aggrieved by the decision Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has asked the sports minister to boycott the games in 2022.
Kiren Rijiju has written this letter, after collectively consulting the National Sports Federations (NSFs), Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and Commonwealth Games Association of India (CGAI). The Union Minister explained IOA’s stand in his letter. He wrote, “The IOA has requested the President as well as Chief Executive Officer of Commonwealth Games Federation to include shooting in the Birmingham Commonwealth Games, 2022. The IOA, as a protest, has withdrawn from participation in CWG General Assembly and decided to abstain from certain CGA Executive Board Resolutions.”
Kiren Rijiju also mapped the history of Shooting as a sport in Commonwealth Games since 1966 and explained India’s keen interest in the sport in his letter. He wrote, “Shooting has become a very popular sport in India and Indian shooters are performing well in multi-lateral /international competitions/events. As you are aware the Commonwealth of Nations comprises 53 nations with a population of 2.4 billion. India alone has half of this. India has always been a strong votary and supporter of the Commonwealth and continues to do so. The Indian public takes a keen interest in shooting events, involving Indian sportsmen.”
Kiren Rijiju has requested for reconsideration of Shooting through a letter because at present India is not represented in the Commonwealth Games Executive Council. India is also not a part of the Functional Committees of Commonwealth Games. Owing to these circumstances India could not put forward its case for including Shooting as a sport in Birmingham CWG, 2022. In an earlier statement, Kiren Rijiju said that it was too early to boycott the CWG and thereafter wrote a letter to the secretary on September 03.