by Curlan Campbell, NOW Grenada
- GGRA needs acceptance by Grenada Olympic Association for sports shooting to be officially considered a sport
- GGRA must be recognised by the International Shooting Sport Federation
The Grenada Gun and Rifle Association (GGRA) has charted a roadmap for the development of sports shooting in Grenada. High on the agenda is acceptance by the Grenada Olympic Association in order for sports shooting to be officially considered a sport.
The GGRA on Saturday, 20 October held a strategic planning session and invited members of the National Olympic Committee (NOC) including 1st Vice President Charles George, representatives from the Ministry of Sport and members of the association to ensure that all stakeholders are on one accord in regard to moving forward.
Lucy Steele, a NOC associate member offered advice to the association on initial steps that must be taken before the NOC can formally recognise the association.
Speaking in her personal capacity, Steele indicated, “Before we can recognise any association, it must be nationally recognised, and it must be the only association that represents such a sport in the country. Secondly, the association has to be affiliated with their international federation and also must show that they are paid-up members. Apart from that, our NOC requires that the association has their constitution in accord with our IOC charter. They must also have a functioning association with the annual general meeting.”
GGRA President Duane Noel said the session provided some great insights on exactly how the GGRA can develop the sport in Grenada. He said that the GGRA must now form several sub-committees spearheading the outstanding work to be done.
“The executive is scheduled to meet shortly and review all recommendations made and put a plan in place. So there is some low hanging fruit that members indicated that we can achieve. We would want to have a discussion with the Ministry of Sport on finding a permanent home for the range. We also re-engage the RGPF because of the whole sensitive nature of a firearm, so we want to make sure that all our actions and plans are in line with the best interest of the country.”
In order for the GGRA to be locally recognised, the association must be recognised by the International Shooting Sport Federation, also known with the acronym ISSF. This organisation is the governing body of the Olympic Shooting events in Rifle, Pistol and Shotgun disciplines, and of several non-olympic shooting sport events.
Another critical action plan for the GGRA is to ensure succession planning to continue the development of sports shooting. Noel said this is where expanding on the GGRA membership is crucial in ensuring the survival of the association.
“We need to involve young people, especially from the Cadet Corps and we will meet with the powers that are in charge of the Cadet Corps and as was indicated by the National Olympic Committee, we need to have a developmental plan for young people.”
Outside of the sporting aspect of sports shooting, as part of their mandate, the GGRA also intends on ensuring the safe use of firearms in Grenada by licensed users.
“We have to be our brother’s keeper because if someone does something wrong with their firearm, it affects all of us, so we all have to try to make sure that all firearm holders have a clear understanding of the Firearms Act. In order to understand what people should or shouldn’t do and this will be done in collaboration with the RGPF.”
The GGRA president encourages every firearm holder to be involved in an association where they can undergo training in safe handling of a firearm. He stated that there were talks on making it mandatory for all firearm holders to be a part of the GGRA but indicated that since not all firearm holders will be in agreement, it is best felt that they should at least receive proper training.
“There has been some discussion on every person with a licensed firearm should be a part of the association. Now while I like the idea I believe that it is more beneficial if everybody with a licensed firearm be involved in an association where they can get the necessary training and understand the law. So while I would love for everybody to become members, but realistically there would be people that will not want to be forced to be a part of this, but I believe that all firearm users must be forced to receive training.”
At present, the GGRA has a temporary home at Petit Etang in St David but hopes to one day find a suitable location that can accommodate an international standard shooting range. The GGRA is focused on promoting the safe use of firearms and has held 3 major symposiums to raise awareness of licensed firearm holders to become informed on the laws of Grenada regarding firearms.
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