Updated May 20th, 2024 at 12:19 IST

No personal coaches, media blackout in NRAIs guidelines to Olympic-bound shooters

The National Rifle Association of India has laid down strict rules for Paris Olympic-bound shooters, which includes not taking the help of personal coaches at the national camp and a "media blackout" in order to ensure the readiness of its athletes for the quadrennial showpiece.

No personal coaches, media blackout in NRAIs guidelines to Olympic-bound shooters | Image:X
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The National Rifle Association of India has laid down strict rules for Paris Olympic-bound shooters, which includes not taking the help of personal coaches at the national camp and a "media blackout" in order to ensure the readiness of its athletes for the quadrennial showpiece.

The federation has issued a "national team protocol", where, among other things, it has also told the shooters that parents will not be allowed to "stay" or "visit" their wards at camps, and that the decision to make an exception solely lies with the High Performance Director (HPD), Pierre Beauchamp.

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In a letter sent to Olympic-bound shooters, titled, "NRAI Olympic Team Undertaking and SOP for Paris 2024 Olympic Games - Pistol/Rifle Teams", a copy of which is with PTI, the NRAI has said the objective is to "ensure the clarity of the training and readiness plan for Olympic Games Paris 2024 by the shooters and the National Team Coaches and Sport Science support." "It is essential to have effective organization, discipline, planned and dedicated training programme for the best performance of shooters participating as National Team India at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games," the letter says.

As per the letter, only NRAI-approved personal coaches and sport science consultants with signed SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) shall be allowed to assist the "National Training team for the concerned shooter(s) in assisting and/or discussing with the National Training Team under the leadership of the HPD and the chief coach (rifle and pistol)." However, personal coaches, who are not approved by the NRAI, will not be allowed.

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"Personal coaches and including physios, nutritionist, psychologist will not be entitled as part of the NRAI National Team program of the Olympic Games." Under the subhead "Media Blackout", the NRAI has said the shooters will have to stay away from the media.

"Athletes will not be allowed to talk to media during the media blackout, except for media designated days which will be communicated to you (shooters) separately. During NRAI Blackout periods athletes will refrain from talking to media before their event." For the shooters' safety, the NRAI will also impose restriction on their movement abroad.

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"When travelling abroad, shooters' free movement shall be restricted from hotel and elsewhere without the permission of the Chief Coach/HPD and/or designated person," the letter adds.

"Parents and personal coaches shall not stay or visit the concerned shooters while at camp and/or competition. However, HPD and Chief Coach may consider their request to interact with parents/personal coaches if required without disturbing the team environment at a different location," the letter added.

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The shooters have also been told to be "respectful" towards team members under the clause "code of conduct".

"All team members are required to adhere to a strict code of conduct during the entire trip. This includes punctuality, respectful behaviour towards team members, coaches, officials, and competitors. Everyone is required to sign an undertaking and strictly follow the code of conduct," the letter adds.

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In the event of non-compliance, NRAI can initiate disciplinary proceedings.

"Any violation of the SOP may result in disciplinary action, including suspension of the shooter/personal coach. Athletes, coaches, and officials are responsible for understanding and adhering to this SOP. Shooters are required to submit Code of Conduct cum Undertaking duly signed by them to NRAI. Parents are required to counter sign the Code of Conduct cum Undertaking along with shooter who are below the age of 18 years." National Rifle Association of India secretary Rajiv Bhatia did not respond to calls or messages. PTI AM AM KHS

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Published May 20th, 2024 at 12:19 IST