After 24 years, the Sri Lanka Shooting Sport Federation (SLSSF) was able to qualify 18 local coaches under the Olympic Solidarity Technical Course in shooting sports.
The course was held from August 6 to 22 at a makeshift shooting range in Kotte after the de facto national shooting range at the Naval Facility in Welisara was not provided due to unknown reasons.
“Since 1991 we have not had any programme to develop the coaches and coaching methods in Sri Lanka. With the assistance of the National Olympic Committee of Sri Lanka (NOC) and the International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF), we were able to fulfill a long tardy need,” stated Shirantha Peiris, the newly elected President of SLSSF.
Peiris pointed out the importance of establishing a national range, if Sri Lanka is hoping to make greater strides in shooting sports globally.
He revealed that the need of a national shooting range was badly felt when it came to conducting the 14-day technical course for coaches.
“The course was supposed to be conducted in an open range and the Sri Lanka Navy, which has the national range, closed the door on us. So we had to set up a makeshift range on a private property in Kotte. Eventually the programme was conducted successfully,” he said.
The course was conducted by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in collaboration with the NOC of Sri Lanka. The course, fully funded by the IOC, was conducted by ISSF course directors P.N. Pananna and Ramandeep Kaur Brar.
As a result 18 national coaches managed to successfully complete the course which was the first in its kind in shooting sport in Sri Lanka.
“We learned that there are lots of aspects that needed to be addressed very soon, if we are looking for international medals. We need to have the proper equipment, and a well established national range. We must overcome these hurdles if we are planning ahead. We, as the national body of shooting sports, must provide the athletes and coaches with all needed facilities. That we are planning to do that fast,” Peiris affirmed.
The participants were Pushpamalie Ramanayake, E. M. Pabawathie (SI), Shyamalie Wijesooriya, Soma Kumarasinghe (ASP), Enoka Weerasinghe, Indunil Pussella, Capt. Buddhika Ranawaka, Wimal Dayaratne, D.M.P.B. Dassanayake, Nelson Gunadasa, Gamini Walgama (SSP), Vincent Paul, Lt. Col. U.D.K. Fredricks, Manjula Fernando, Capt. Harsha Weerasuriya, W.K. Yamith Krishantha, J. Dassanayake and Sagara Wimaladharma.