The National Shooting Sport Federation of Sri Lanka (NSSF) will inaugurate its latest fully-fledged 10 lane electronic target shooting range in Kohuwela, with the upcoming NSSF Youth and Junior Air Rifle and Air Pistol Championship 2022. The amalgamated dual contest will begin on the 9th and conclude on the 13th with well over 100 participants expected to compete.
NSSF conducted a competition earlier this year at the Kohuwela Shooting Range, which then had four lanes with electronic targets. This will be the first occasion the national body for shooting sport conducts a mega competition on their newly constructed shooting range, which consists of 10 lanes with state-of-the-art electronic targets.
“The opening tournament will be an ideal launching ceremony to the new range, for many reasons. Firstly, the upcoming meet next week will be for the youth and juniors, who are the future of any sport. And to get them competing in this new facility will be the ideal exposure for these youngsters, who have the potential of representing the country,” elaborated Pradeep Edirisinghe, the Secretary of NSSF. “In the past, most youngsters had very little opportunity to face a domestic competition with facilities similar to international meets. Now all shooters will have that opportunity of contesting under similar facilities on par with international standard,” he added.
As per the latest count, NSSF has already received over 90 entries, mainly from schools affiliated to Sri Lanka Schools Shooting Sport Association and clubs affiliated to NSSF. The Youth category will be for shooters below 18, who will contest under Air Rifle and Air Pistol in Men’s and Women’s segments.
The Junior category will be for shooters between 18 and 21, who will also compete under Air Rifle and Air Pistol in Men’s and Women’s segments.
“We are still receiving entries and everything will be finalised by the coming week prior to the start of the meet, which will also serve as a platform to update the National Youth and Junior pools,” Edirisinghe confirmed.
Earlier the NSSF provisionally set up range at a rented private property in Kohuwela belonging to one of its officials, who allowed its use free of charge so that the country’s standards in shooting could grow further. Prior to that NSSF President Shirantha Peries set up a much better facility on the rooftop of his office premises where eight lanes with air condition were available. Due to high maintenance costs, which were mostly met by the NSSF President’s own funds, it was discontinued after almost two years.
Peries pledged that as a responsible national sports governing body, NSSF is highly committed to serve the sport and its athletes under any circumstances, and the new 10-lane electronic shooting range comes as a result of unceasing commitment by the NSSF administration headed by Peries.