During the 1950’s only the Armed forces were our country’s only defense. To create a second line of defense with civilians, the first speaker of the Parliament of India Hon. Shri G.V.MAVLANKAR the moved the house and brought the bill to establish rifle clubs across the country and train the civilians in the shooting.
In 1954, every state capital established a Rifle Club. Thus the Madras Rifle Club was established in 1954, followed by Coimbatore Rifle Club in 1955 and Madurai Rifle Club in 1956. Now there are 18 clubs in Tamil Nadu.
In the beginning, The Club members were trained by the CRTC ( Civilian Rifle Training Center) in Pasumalai where the first the Police Range functioned and was later shifted to Nagamalai firing range where Police officers trained the civilians with Government weapons.
In the year 1971 Madurai Rifle Club conducted 9th Tamilnadu State Shooting Championship at Police Grounds located at Pasumalai in Madurai. The Chief Guest of the function was Hon. Shri. V.V.Giri, the Governor of Tamilnadu. He was impressed by the activities of MRC and suggested to Mr. Lakshmikhanthan Bharathi I.A.S., then the District Collector of Madurai, to allot land to MRC for its own shooting range. The land was allocated in the sports complex area of Race Course in due course.
In the year 1981 TNSA – the Tamil Nadu Shooting Association–passed a resolution to encourage and develop the shooting activities, and decided to have inter district meets before the State Shooting Championship. The first State inter District Championship was hosted by Madurai Rifle Club as part of its silver jubilee celebrations. The Club extended its activities in many ways. When the hill station Kodaikanal was in the Madurai District, the District collector who was the then ex. official President of Madurai Rifle Club used to invite the Madurai Rifle Club to conduct a one day shooting competition as a part of the annual summer festival.
The Club entered the next phase in the year 1994 by constructing its 50 mts.range, with 16 lanes. It was constructed by our senior coach Mr. SV.K.M. Ramalingam and was declared open by Dr.B.Sivanthi Adhityan, the then president of TNSA.
The next phase was the purchase of 12 bore shotguns by members with their own contributions to take part in trap and skeet events.
In 2006 the open air rifle range was upgraded into an indoor modern range with the help of Dr.B.Sivanthi Adhityan, the president of TNSA. In 2007 a state meet exclusively for air weapon events was held.
The unique motto of the club “LEARN WHEN YOU ARE YOUNG” was initiated by Mr. SV.K.M. Ramalingam club’s honorable senior coach. Special concessional subscription rates were fixed to school and college students to encourage both boys and girls to take up shooting sport.
In the advancement and development of Madurai Rifle Club, our present secretary Mr. S.V.S.S.Velshankar is the pride of our club. His predecessors, founder Secretary Mr.R.Nagaraj Naidu, Mr. M.P.V. Krishna Moorthy, Mr. W.P.A.R. Rajaram, Mr. S.V.S. Sundara Moorthy, Mr.P.V.Parthasarathy, Mr. Kanagavel, Mr.S.V.K.M. Ramalingam, Mr.Narzi D. Solanki have rendered yeoman service to the club along with leading committee members like Dr. Sam C Bose, Mr.V.P.R.Subbiah, Mr. Thiruvengadam, Mr.M.Dhanasekarapandian, and Mr. T.Pagalone.
The grand medal harvest of Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, in double trap shooting and Abhinav Bhindra in Air Rifle in the Olympics for India, gave a great impetus to youngsters to take up this sports seriously and work hard.
In the year 2009, the club imported match rifles from Germany and trained the shooters to match the international standards. As a result, the excellent performance was made by MRC members in the 48th Tamil Nadu state shooting championship held at Coimbatore in 2010 and they won the number of medals and also broke many meet records. For the first time in the history of Madurai club, 17 members qualified themselves for the Pre National Championship in this state championship and they also participated in the National Championship and won medals. This feat was again repeated this year, and it will continue in the future also with the number of participants increasing fast.
The Madurai Rifle Club has made an indelible mark at the National level and earned a permanent place in the Indian shooting map. The time of participation in the Olympics is not for off. Madurai will surely make a big hit and bring fame and name to India.