Pune, December 5, 2023: Taking their mission of producing
Olympic medallists ahead, the Gagan Narang Sports Promotion Foundation (GNSPF) and leading guns manufacturer, Walther, announced their support for Paris Games quota winner shooters on Tuesday.
Walther, through the GNSPF, gifted high-end 10m air rifles to Olympic quota winners Rudrankksh Patil and Mehuli Ghosh along with Paralympics quota hopeful Swaroop Unhalkar at an event held at Hotel Ramee Grand today. The cost of each rifle is Rs.3.75 Lakhs.
The support is part of GNSPF’s flagship program of supporting athletes for the Olympic Games. Walther, who has been supporting GNSPF for many years, showed their faith in the foundation’s initiative, yet again. Rudrankksh Patil, Mehuli Ghosh and Swaroop Unhalkar.
The press conference was addressed by London Games bronze medallist shooter Gagan Narang, who is also the Co-Founder of Gun for Glory Shooting Academy and Vice President of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA). Gagan Narang was joined by Bernhard Knobel, CEO – Carl Walther GmbH, Germany, Drager Bjorn Klaus – Director of Sales Carl Walther GmbH, Germany, Peter Sidi – high-performance rifle coach, former world champion and five times Olympian, and Pawan Singh – Joint Secretary of the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI), Judges Committee Member of the International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF) and the Co-Founder of Gun for Glory Shooting Academy.
“It is a moment of pride and satisfaction to see a company like Walther living the same dream as us. I personally have used Walther rifles to win medals at every possible level. To see the legendary company coming to support us in our endeavor to help other Indian shooters win medals at the Olympics is really a big motivation for all of us,” Narang said.
“Walther always ensures quality and trust. Their rifles are technically superior and technologically advanced, and I really wish that the rifles that are being given to the Paris quota holders will help them to win not just their place in the final team, but also clinch gold medals in their respective events at the Paris Games,” Narang added.
“Our association with India and Indian shooters goes back a long way. We, along with the GNSPF, want to see Indian shooters do well at every competition they participate in. It is our honor that top Indian shooters trust Walther rifles and are doing so well at the international level. India is a huge country with thousands of talented shooting athletes and Walther is the leading gun manufacturer in the world, so together, we can create many new champions,” said Bernhard Knobel.
Former World Champion and Gun For Glory shooter Rudrankksh Patil said that getting support from Walther at the right time will help him do even better in the months to come. “Shooting is a sport of precision and Walther has always ensured making their guns after getting feedback from the shooters across the world. I am glad to have got this support from them in the form of their latest rifle, which will help me do well ahead of the Paris Olympics,” he added.
Quota holder Mehuli Ghosh, who is preparing for her first Olympics said, “The first rifle that I saw, was a Walther. Since then, whatever scores I have shot or medals I have won, have come using Walther rifles. I am happy to have got the latest rifle from them.”
Swaroop Unhalkar, who is gearing up to win a quota place for the Paris Games, also thanked Gun For Glory Academy and Walther for their support. “It is heartening to see Gun For Glory, Pawan Singh and Gagan Narang sir doing so much for para-sport. I would like to thank them and Walther for their support as it will help me in my journey ahead,” he said.
About Gagan Narang Sports Promotion Foundation’s Gun For Glory Shooting Academy –
In the dynamic arena of sports, the Gagan Narang Sports Promotion Foundation (GNSPF) stands tall as a beacon of excellence, fuelled by the visionary leadership of Padmashree Awardee, Olympic Medallist, and Vice President of the Indian Olympic Association, Gagan Narang, alongside Mr. Pawan Singh, Joint Secretary of the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) & Judges Committee Member of the International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF).
GNSPF’s biggest achievement, the Gun For Glory Shooting Academy, the largest academy of its kind in shooting sports, it not only serves as a training ground but also as a testament to the foundation’s commitment to nurturing talent and fostering the spirit of sportsmanship.
The foundation’s dedication to identifying and nurturing budding talent within the country received national acclaim in 2019 when it was bestowed with the prestigious Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puraskar Award. This accolade stands as a testament to GNSPF’s pivotal role in shaping the future of sports in India.
Since its inception, GNSPF has been a breeding ground for champions, producing 8 Olympians, 4 Arjuna Awardees, and accumulating over 300 International Medals. The foundation has notched more than 1000 national medals, carving a legacy of sporting excellence.
GNSPF’s commitment to democratizing access to world-class training has led to the establishment of 11 Gun For Glory Shooting Academies across 7 states in India. This expansive network ensures that the seeds of talent are sown far and wide, reaching every corner of the nation.
The foundation’s flagship initiative, ‘Project Leap,’ executed in collaboration with Olympic Gold Quest since 2017, is a program designed to drive selected shooting athletes to the peak of their potential. Offering 100% training scholarships and guidance from world-class foreign coaches, the program has transformed the lives of 180+ athletes, producing Olympians, Deaflympic Gold Medallist, a World Record Holder, and accumulating over 120 International Medals and 300+ National Medals.
In the Project Leap program, the Gagan Narang Sports Promotion Foundation is privileged to have Peter Sidi from Hungary, an eminent figure in the world of shooting sports. Serving as the current High-Performance Rifle Coach, Peter Sidi, a five-time Olympian and former world champion, brings a wealth of experience and unparalleled expertise to the program.
His dedication to nurturing the next generation of shooting athletes resonates with the foundation’s commitment to excellence.
In a decade of unwavering dedication, the Gagan Narang Sports Promotion Foundation has not only shaped champions but has also etched its name in the books of Indian sports history as a catalyst for transformative change and unparalleled sporting glory.
Walther at Gun For Glory Shooting Academy –
Walther has been a steadfast pillar of support for Gun For Glory, generously providing world-class rifles to the academy’s shooters. This significant partnership was notably highlighted in 2016 when Gagan Narang, in preparation for the Rio Olympics, received a technologically advanced gun from Walther. The commitment continued as Walther extended this support to elite Indian shooter and Olympian Elavenil Valarivan, as well as to the accomplished para shooter and Paralympian Swaroop Unhalkar. This generous gesture underscores Walther’s dedication to nurturing talent and fostering excellence within the Gun For Glory Shooting Academy, solidifying their ongoing commitment to the development of promising Indian shooters.
Photo Captions –
Photo 1 – Gagan Narang Sports Promotion Foundation (GNSPF) and leading guns manufacturer, Walther, announced their support for Paris Games quota winner shooters by presenting them with top-end 10m air rifles at an event held at Ramee Grand today. India’s Olympic bronze medallist Gagan Narang addressed the members of the media on the occasion. In the photo (from Left) Peter Sidi, Gagan Narang, Bernhard Knobel and Drager Bjorn Klaus.
Photo 2 – Gagan Narang Sports Promotion Foundation (GNSPF) and leading guns manufacturer, Walther, announced their support for Paris Games quota winner shooters by presenting them with top-end 10m air rifles at an event held at Ramee Grand today. In the photo (from Left) Peter Sidi, Rudrankksh Patil, Gagan Narang, Swaroop Unhalkar (on the chair), Bernhard Knobel, Mehuli Ghosh, Drager Bjorn Klaus and Pawan Singh.