Home NRAI High Performance Director knows nothing about shooting sports: Russell Mark

    NRAI High Performance Director knows nothing about shooting sports: Russell Mark


    The exit of India trap and skeet coaches, Russell Mark and his wife Lauryn, at such a crucial juncture could have massive ramifications as the country shooters are preparing for the World Championships ÔÇô an Olympic qualifying event ÔÇô and the Asian Games, besides a host of other competitions.

    But details shared by the legendary shotgun shooter, a two-time world champion and 1996 Atlanta Olympic gold medallist, exclusively with indianshooting.com clearly show he was extremely unhappy with the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI), which had hired him till the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.

    The legendary marksman also said that the High Performance Director (HPD) Pierre Beauchamp, appointed by NRAI, knew nothing about shooting sports.

    The 59-year-old Mark thought this month that he had had enough and decided to resign in Almaty, where he was with the Indian contingent for the ISSF World Cup Shotgun.

    In a scathing indictment of the functioning of the NRAI, Mark told indianshooting.com that, It like working with a company in the 1950s. There are some good people but there are also a few old administrators that hold the whole organisation back.ÔÇØ

    Mark and his wife were appointed in May last year when Raninder Singh was the NRAI president. However, Raninder has been forced to proceed on a prolonged leaveÔÇØ by a Sports Ministry directive after he completed 12 years as head of the federation ÔÇô the maximum duration an administrator can hold under the national sports code.

    More than the issue of his renewal of the contract, which was reportedly being delayed since March this year, Mark was unhappy with the way the NRAI-appointed High Performance Director, Beauchamp, was reportedly handling the shootersÔÇÖ regimen.

    It would throw too many people under the bus if I did that (reveal more),ÔÇØ Mark told indianshooting.com. The problem the NRAI face is that they have thrown a huge amount of faith in HPD (Beauchamp) and his Sports Science program. It has no relevance to Shotgun Shooting and I hear the foreign pistol coach is also of the same view as mine,ÔÇØ said Mark.

    Mark added the data collection by Beauchamp was quite simply a waste of time and came at a huge cost to the federation.

    How the NRAI was sucked into this hugely expensive data collecting waste of time program is beyond me,ÔÇØ said Mark.

    It is learnt that things came to a head when Lauryn was asked to justify her role as High Performance Manager of the shotgun team.

    Mark alleged that the shooters too were unhappy with Beauchamp training methods but would rather not speak for fear of being victimised.

    I am certainly not alone on my feelings (about the training methods of Beauchamp) here but the athletes feel as though they will feel the repercussions if the speak out (against Beauchamp). The entire shotgun team refuses to do the HPD daily questionnaire as they believe it is a total waste of time. And I agree with them,ÔÇØ added Mark.

    Mark, who has been credited with helping Rajyavardhan Rathore, who won the double trap silver at the 2004 Athens Olympics, and several other Indian shotgun shooters, added that elite shotgun shooters are not benefitting one bit from Beauchamp teaching methods.

    The legendary marksman also said Beauchamp knows nothing about shooting sports.

    It just totally irrelevant to shotgun shooting performance. It way too generic for elite athletes to bother with. It like it been written by someone who knows nothing about shooting sports,ÔÇØ concluded Mark.