raninder singh

File photo of Raninder Singh (right) with Prince Haakon (l) of Norway and Vazquez Rana (center) enjoying the atmosphere during the Men's 10m Air Rifle Shooting final of the London 2012 Olympic Games at The Royal Artillery Barracks on July 30, 2012 in London, England. (Lars Baron/Getty Images)

NEW DELHI – National Rifle Association of India president Raninder Singh Feb. 8 said he isn't "enamored with foreign coaches" while emphasizing being self-reliant by developing more and more Indian coaches with greater remuneration.

Welcoming corporate investment into the sport, Singh said India and China are the only countries that depend on government funding for sports, something which he feels can be diverted to the development of a sport at the grassroot level or invested in some other discipline where there is potential for winning Olympic medals.

But with a lion's share of the funds spent on hiring foreign coaches with greater depth and understanding of the technicalities of a sport, Singh reiterated his point of developing more Indian coaches and paying them at par with more corporate funding.

"Most of the Indian coaches like Jaspal (Rana), Mansher (Singh), Seema (Tomar) are right now working Dil se (from their heart) with passion. But I won't hold on to them, my results are coming with my Indian coaches. Therefore it is my duty to find the money and top up to the level they are happy," Raninder told reporters, on the sidelines of the announcement of the International Shooting Sport Federation World Cup Rifle/Pistol, here.

"In future I would hope to have zero foreign coaches. We have to move to a situation where India is self reliant on its own wealth of knowledge. However, I am not saying that the foreign coaches are any less, they are superb.

"In areas and fields where we are lacking, we will have foreign coaches but in areas where we do have the depth we won't have them. I am not enamored with foreign coaches, I don't think neither do the government of India. Ultimately this nation has to move on with its own wealth," he added.

Raninder also focused on the disparity in the remuneration of the Indian coaches compared to their foreign counterparts, who are paid approximately around Rs 4.5 lakh per month.

"We must understand these coaches have families, you can't run a family with Rs 40,000 a month. These are practical issues. But it is my duty as head of the federation to ensure this doesn't come up, and this will not come up if I bring them up to a level," he said.

"I have to make sure while the government has its own understanding and constraints, it is also incumbent on me to do something except fold my hands. We must complement each other."

"If I want my shooters to get the best support then I have to go out with a begging bowl, collect funds, sell my sport (in an honorable manner), get involvement of people who believe in our sport and use that first for the top and then for the bottom," he added.

With 16 Tokyo Olympics quota places up for grabs in the World Cup starting Feb. 20, and India still able to extract a maximum of 14 considering that Anjum Moudgil and Apurvi Chandela have already booked their quotas in the women's 10m Air Rifle, Raninder expects a healthy outcome from the 34-member home squad.

"We have a top fighting fit squad and a good mix of senior shooters and young turks, who have proved their mettle time and again in world class international competitions. I am confident of a good showing and we look to bag the maximum number of quotas possible," he said.

In all, 495 athletes from 58 nations will be converging at the Dr. Karni Singh Shooting Range here when competitions begin in right earnest with the first final slated for Feb. 23.

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