After an intense debate over the ouster of Shooting and Archery events from the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, India have finally found some positive backing by the British House of Lords. Endorsing India’s proposal to host the additional shooting and archery events for the CWG Games, the coveted UK body said they are discussing the details of the matter with its membership and will inform India of their decision accordingly. Shooting has been a part of every Commonwealth Games roster for over 50 years except the 1986 Games held in Edinburgh.
Last month, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) had withdrawn its threat to boycott the Birmingham Commonwealth Games over shooting’s omission and instead decided to submit a formal proposal to host a shooting championship, where the medals won will be counted in the tally of the Games. The proposal was backed by the UK’s House of Lords.
“The government welcomes the Indian Olympic Associations statement on confirming that India will take part in the games,” Baroness Diana Barran, the parliamentary under Secretary of State for digital, culture, media and sport, said in her summation address.
“The government also welcomes the proposal from India to the CGF for additional events in the sports of shooting and Archery and the CGF is currently discussing this proposal with its membership and following this will inform India of its decision,” she added.
When asked if she could confirm that the government would ensure that in future versions shooting would be made a compulsory sport at the CWG instead of an optional one, she said she will pass on the matter to the minister of sports in the House of Commons.
She also said that the minister of sports in the House of Commons is simultaneously “meeting with the CGF discussing that very point and all of the costs for that event shall be met by the Indian Olympic association.”
House member Lord Karan Bilimoria described the proposal “as a manifestation of a member of the commonwealth family coming forward as a member of the family to assist in providing a solution to the issue of shooting and archery being proposed to be held in Delhi or Chandigarh.”
He also congratulated sports minister Kiren Rijiju, Indian Olympic Association (IOA) President Narinder Batra and National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) chief Raninder Singh for offering an ‘innovative solution’.
In a letter to the CGF President Dame Louis Martin, Batra said the cost of the shooting’s conduct will be met largely by the NRAI while the archery programme will likely be funded solely by the Government of India.