NEPALGUNJ, April 20: The first round of the 24th National Men’s and 23rd National Women’s Shooting in the Eighth National Games at Shooting Range Hall of the Nepalgunj Stadium premises was canceled abruptly due to the underprepared venue on Friday.
Multiple officials from different participating teams were frustrated due to the uncertainty around re-scheduling of the event. Range Hall lacked adequate lights, proper carpet, among other necessary equipment despite National Sports Council allocating a budget of Rs 10 million to upgrade the arena.
Former player Nabin Giri expected the lack of integrity from NSC in organizing the event. Despite this, he was preparing the venue to host shooting in the poor conditions.
“National players are used to playing in such underprepared conditions every time,” said Giri. “It is the similar story everywhere. Even in Biratnagar the range is not ready yet to host the event although the construction started two years ago when the Seventh National Games was underway.”
Construction of soft-ball court, shooting range and cricket ground had started two years ago in Biratnagar. However, only soft-ball court was able to host games this edition.
“The shooting games were supposed to start today [Friday] but it has been re-scheduled for tomorrow owing to the lack of proper light in the hall. I am not sure about happening this tomorrow as well,” said Pradeep Khati, the head coach of national shooting team, who is also the local level coordinator of shooting event.
A total of 65 shooters from seven provinces, Nepali Police Club and Tribhuvan Army Club were in confusion after first day’s event was abandoned. Province 5’s shooter Badruddin Ansari, who lives in Nepalgunj, shared that he could not practice enough for the prestigious national event.
“I was not able to prepare for the competition due to construction works in the range hall prior to the games. However, I am happy that our province is hosting such a big event. I will give my best to win a medal.”
Likewise, swimming is also affected due to the unfinished construction works of the pool. President of Banke district chapter of Swimming Association Govardhan Singh said that workers were laying tiles on the pool on the day of inauguration on Thursday.
“The construction works of the pool should have been completed a year ago. What can we do? It’s not new to see NSC’s inefficiency during the major sporting events like National Games,” Singh expressed his disappointment.
The swimming pool, which was inaugurated nine years ago, has seen an investment of Rs 150 million over the course so far. NSC is arranging a local hotel to host the event in case the pool does not complete in time.
Similarly, Sepak Takrow being held in Bardia and cricket in Dang has the same situation due to poor construction and improper infrastructure.