Around 20 shooters appeared to be in joyous mood at the Gulshan Shooting Complex yesterday, but it was not because they had returned home after achieving something big. They had arrived to welcome the newly-appointed ad-hoc committee of the Bangladesh Shooting Sport Federation (BSSF).
The National Sports Council on Sunday put an end to a drawn out stalemate between two BSSF higher-ups by appointing an ad-hoc committee headed by Major General Ataul Hakim Sarwar Hasan and the shooters looked happier than anyone else.
"What can I tell you? Look at the faces of the shooters and you will get your answer," two-time Commonwealth Games silver medallist Abdullah Hel Baki told the reporters at the shooting range.
"We always feel pressure mentally or the pressure comes on us automatically when officials involve themselves in chaos. We are now relieved and set to start training afresh. However, the big disadvantage is that we have been out of action for a long period due to the pandemic and we don't have our rifles, although the newly-appointed committee promised to solve the issue immediately," said Baki. "Our rifle is our heart. No one can provide remuneration for shooting, but we do it because of love for the sport. And it is big blow for us if you keep our beloved rifles away from us. Everything will be fine when we get back permission to use our rifles."
"I know that there is a problem with the weapons, which are not being used, and we hope shooters can get back their guns immediately and start training properly," said BSSF president Ataul Hakim Sarwar Hasan after the first executive committee meeting.
Following a dispute between the former BSSF president and BSSF secretary general, shooters were forced to appear before the directorate of Custom intelligence and Investigation in July for evading taxes on their arms. They were instructed not to use their arms.
"Today, I said repeatedly that team spirit and team building is a big thing and we need unity. Everyone has to look after institutional interests instead of individual interests. There may be different opinions but everyone has to accept the collective decision taken by the committee and they also have to own the decision and implement it," said Hasan, who is looking to enhance shooting's image.
"Bangladesh's shooting is a mark of pride in the country's sport because shooting has brought the most laurels from overseas among all sport so far. We hope we will be able to improve standards in the coming days as well as bring more laurel from aboard," Hasan hoped, adding that they would do everything including hiring foreign coaches to prepare shooters for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics.
He also promised to hold the elections as soon as possible while continuing activities of the shooting federation.