The World Archery Excellence Centre has been hosting online rifle shooting competitions where Make a Mark athletes and Indian shooting athletes of Rakesh Manpat’s Elite Shooting Academy have completed a total of 3 tournaments far this year. These competitions are facilitated by both the Abhinav Bindra Foundation and the WAEC.
“The Indian athletes are very good in shooting and the competition with them is pushing me to improve my score!” said Mahdi, one of the athletes under the Make a Mark initiative.
Across the three tournaments, the athletes have improved their tournament demeanour and are getting more comfortable with the format.
While all of the tournaments have so far been won by Indian Athletes like Pratik Borse, Tillotama Sen, and Goutham Vogga, the Make a Mark athletes are pushing themselves to set the record straight!
“The experience has been great. Having started the sport in mid-2000s and having looked up to shooters like Nicco all our training years, technology has caught up so well that we are able to virtually connect and feel the excitement to be connected as our idols watch. It’s an inspiration for me and all of the other academy shooters.” Said Rakesh Manpat, Founder of the Elite Shooting Academy.
These online competitions have also been a large step in helping the athletes feel like a part of a large community, especially during the pandemic, where tournaments and training have been restricted. The cross-country bond being developed helps all the athletes remain motivated through this time, and helps each of them re-align towards their goals and training!
“I’m always fond of innovation that showcases the power that sport has to connect us. The online tournaments have given Khaoula, Mahdi, and Luna the opportunity to compete against some of the most promising athletes in Indian Shooting, but also helped them bond through friendly competition. I hope the athletes have learnt from this experience, and it holds them in better stead for the future!” said Abhinav Bindra, Founder of the Abhinav Bindra Foundation, and India’s first Individual Olympic Gold Medallist.
The tournaments will continue through the year with another one scheduled in March!