New Delhi [India], March 2 (ANI): The National Rifle Association of India (NRAI), the governing body for the Olympic sport of Shooting in the country, has lauded the efforts of the Indian Army for initiating a sustainable and structured talent development program exclusively for young girls, to build champion international shooters. The Army Marksmanship Unit (AMU) at Mhow, Madhya Pradesh, recently announced the raising of the Girls Sports Company in the Shooting category, inviting girls in the age group of 12-16 to enrol as Shooters.

Speaking on the initiative Kalikesh Narayan Singh Deo, Senior Vice-President, NRAI, said, "This is an excellent initiative by the Indian Army which will give girls, particularly from rural & economically weaker sections an opportunity to make a career in the sport. The Indian Army has always been at the forefront of developing sport in the country and they have again set the bar high. This is also an affirmative step in the spirit of the Olympic movement and will definitely enhance women's empowerment and equal opportunity in the sport."

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NRAI will offer their complete support for this initiative which will create opportunities for talented rural girls, who will be provided with education, the best facilities and the required infrastructure.

Also sharing his thoughts on the salutary initiative K Sultan Singh, Secretary General, NRAI, said, "The Government has been very supportive of sport promotion and athletes in the country and it is time that more and more Government and Corporate departments emulate the Indian Army in all-round development of sport towards developing a strong sports culture for the Nation. It is visionary & indeed a commendable effort by the Army who have continue to produce world-class marksmen and now will hopefully produce world beating women shooters as well."

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The selection trials for the first batch of the Girls Sports Company, Mhow, will be conducted from March 20 to March 23 at AMU and online registration for the same is open until March 10th, 2024. Girls who have passed the Vth standard and are between the ages of 12 - 16 (as of April 1, 2024) are eligible for the trials. The selected girl athletes will be provided with free education up to the Matriculation level along with free boarding and lodging. They will also have a chance to be enrolled in the Indian Army after attaining 17.5 years of age subject to passing recruitment standards and vacancies as per the policy.

Besides Olympic silver medalist Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, other prominent Army shooters include the likes of Olympians Jitu Rai, Gurpreet Singh, Chain Singh and now Paris Olympics quota holder Varun Tomar among others. (ANI)

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