More talented athletes will surely help Oman shoot for gold at the Olympics

Oman Tuesday 27/July/2021 21:41 PM
By: Mohamed Issa Al Zadjali
More talented athletes will surely help Oman shoot for gold at the Olympics
Mohamed Issa Al Zadjali, Chairman, Muscat Media Group

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics have begun, the latest episode in this summer of sport, which has brought hope to many, amidst the uncertainties and gloomy headlines of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year the Olympics are rather unique: for one, the virus has led to their postponement by a year. Secondly, no spectators are allowed, amid efforts to minimise the spread of the disease. But the athletes taking part have shown what dedication, teamwork, and preparation can do to provide us inspiration.

Watching the Olympics, I must mention the shooting competition. I am surprised that Oman is only participating in one event under this category…what’s more is that there is just one athlete taking part in this event, and he is a military man.

Compare this to the other countries, which have sent mostly civilian athletes to compete. Athletes who found passion in sport because they took it up as a hobby and have, over time, developed and honed their skills to become some of the best in the world.

I understand, of course, that many military personnel are skilled in shooting, and are therefore a good fit for the shooting events at the Olympics and other international tournaments, but Oman will benefit greatly from building private clubs where people can be encouraged to take up Olympic-style shooting as a hobby.
There are, unfortunately, no clubs of this nature to speak of right now.

Setting up such facilities have innumerable other benefits as well: they do not require much space or expensive infrastructure to operate, they will generate jobs for those who work there, as well as give rise to businesses that specialise in providing the equipment and supplies required by shooting clubs and their members.

Developing these clubs will encourage people to pursue shooting as a hobby, which will naturally motivate them to get better and better, maybe even excel in skill  compared to those who only choose to take it up as a job. Sports, after all, is fuelled by a dedicated pursuit of passion.

From a sporting perspective, shooting clubs will greatly help broaden the pool of athletic marksmen available to Oman, as well as the number of events at which they can readily compete.

They will help bring glory to our country, and  enhance our standing globally. Let me give you an example: Iran’s Javad Foroughi won the gold medal in the Men’s 10m air pistol event on 24th July.

Out of curiosity, I wanted to see if this man had a connection with the military.  He did, but not in a manner that influenced his shooting skills: he worked as a nurse at a military hospital.

At this point, I am sure there are many who might wonder what will happen if shooting enthusiasts are taught to be skilled at using rifles and pistols, which are exclusively for our security forces. 

However, weapons used at the Olympics – and by extension at training facilities – are not military grade. They are mostly air pistols and rifles, often used for recreational purposes.

Omani culture, which encourages martial sports, is sure to motivate people to take up sports such as shooting and archery.

Let us provide our people the facilities they need to sharpen their skills, so that they can show their talent to the world.

If each wilayat has a sports club of this nature, imagine the opportunities you are providing to people, imagine how this will help contribute to the economic and social benefits of the country.

A long-term commitment to this endeavour will help the country hit many targets…and not just at the Olympics.