Ace Indian shooter Abhinav Bindra would be helping Olympic champion Niccolo Campriani, who has started an initiative to train refugee team shooters for Tokyo 2020 games. With the Italian garnering all the equipments through donations, Bindra would be supporting the cause financially.
Both Bindra and Campriani decided to hang their boots after the 2016 Rio Olympics and have started careers thereafter in helping young talents get to the top. While Bindra has his Abhinav Bindra Foundation, the Italian has started a programme where he would be helping three shooters to reach the minimum qualifying score, which would make them eligible for the Refugee Olympic Team.
And while looking for support from outside Campriani has come across Bindra’s foundation with the Indian gold medalist very much willing to help the Italian.
“I could put together all the equipment I needed through the donations, but I also needed some cash flow for other expenses. When I was exploring different options, I looked into the Abhinav Bindra Foundation. And then after talking to Abhinav and knowing the work he is doing in India, he proposed his help. That was the crucial part of the project,” said Campriani, reported The Indian Express.
The three shooters — Khaoula, Luna and Mahdi — have been handpicked by Campriani, and would be having the right training and resources for the next Olympics, which has been scheduled for next year. The trio was interviewed by the Italian who has three Olympic gold medals to his name. He met the 10-member refugee team that debuted at the 2016 Olympics before choosing them.
Campriani’s cause has reportedly received support from all over the shooting fraternity with athletes sending in equipment while federations inviting them at national competitions and camps. And the Italian has plans to bring them to India as well and work with the talents.
“That’s the discussion I have had with Abhinav. It would make a lot of sense, considering the potential gold medalists you might have next year in Tokyo and Abhinav’s role in the project… So if there is a chance, we would love to,” he added.