First ever redesigned ISSF National Coaches Course begins in India under the aegis of the NRAI

New Delhi, Tuesday, July 26, 2022: In what opens up huge opportunities for Indian coaches, the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF), the world’s governing body for the Olympic sport of Shooting, began their ISSF National Coaches Course with a batch of 48 Indian coaches at the Dr. Karni Singh Shooting Range (DKSSR) on Tuesday. The course is being held under the aegis of the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI). It is also the first time that the course is being conducted anywhere in the world, after the erstwhile ISSF coaches programme was redesigned in 2019 and is the equivalent of the former ISSF C license for coaches.

Two ISSF instructors, Ahmed Sief El Din Daoud of Egypt for Pistol and Natalya Zhukova of Russia for Rifle, have been nominated by the ISSF for the purpose and are in India to conduct the course. Among some notable names who are taking the course are Deepak Kumar, international Rifle shooter who participated in the Tokyo Olympics, Samaresh Jung, former India international and national pistol coach and Manoj Kumar, who is currently coaching the Indian Rifle squad.

The NRAI Secretary General, K. Sultan Singh commenting on the development said, “It is a very high-profile course for preparing our coaching faculty. This certificate course by the ISSF promotes coaching of international/Olympic standards. It’s a major step by the NRAI to provide ISSF certified course to the selected candidates free of cost, thanks to the support provided by our partners Olympic Gold Quest. The present Rifle/Pistol courses will be followed by the same course for Shotgun coaches in September. The ISSF has also told us that we can conduct this yet again in the country after the World Championships in October are concluded and we certainly plan to do so to spread the benefits further into the various zones of the country. We are also thinking on the lines of developing a National Coaches Course going forward, on the same lines of this new ISSF National Coaches course. Last, but certainly not the least, we our eternally grateful to the Sports Authority of India for providing us with their world class infrastructure and support to conduct this course.”

Also sharing his views was Mr. Pawan Singh, Joint Secretary General, NRAI and Director, Coaches Development Program saying, “I first want to express our gratitude towards the ISSF for giving the NRAI the opportunity to conduct the first ever ISSF National Coaches course for all the three disciplines of Rifle, Pistol and Shotgun, with that of Rifle and Pistol beginning today. It is a historic moment by itself. What is even more important is that there are many athletes in India today who are trying to pursue a career in Shooting and with the benefit of this course, the coaches coaching them at the grassroot level will be upskilled with the most relevant and latest coaching techniques prevailing across the world. This will in turn help in the wider spread and deeper penetration of standardised top-quality coaching at the grassroot level, benefiting Indian Shooting overall as when these athletes reach the National squad, they will just have to be polished and fine-tuned to deliver results instantly.”

ISSF Rifle instructor Ms. Natalya Zhukova of Russia, talking about the value of the course said, “In this course we mainly share experiences. We think we know the same things but when we talk to each other we understand that different shooters have different experiences. So, we can learn from the different experiences of different shooters. Again, some parts we feel we know but when we hear different experiences we understand where exactly we as coaches have to focus our attention on to solve a problem. It is important to change experiences and look at it from the other side and that I feel is the greatest value of a course like this. I am very impressed with the batch of coaches as they seem very interested and focussed and ask a lot of questions which is good.”

Mr. Ahmed Sief El Din Daoud, ISSF Pistol instructor from Egypt said, “It is a new coaching system of the ISSF and is being conducted for the very first time since its implementation. It is therefore a very good opportunity for local coaches here to develop their level of education and coaching. It is also a good opportunity for me to get to meet these good coaches. I want to thank the NRAI and the ISSF for having provided me with this opportunity and to conduct this course in this fantastic Shooting range.”

In the previous ISSF coaches programme only 15 coaching licenses were given out every year after national federations nominated two coaches per year for the programme. As a result, there would be years where none from a particular federation made the grade. An outcome of the previous system was that only about a dozen Indian coaches received this ISSF license in all these years. This therefore, presents an opportunity to Indian coaches to advance the wait time for the valued license by at least a decade with potentially career-changing ramifications.