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|The Fallen - for shooters who have contributed to international rimfire and air rifle benchrest shooting and have made the final trip to the big range in the sky;|
Ladislav Ninger - President of the ERABSF and Vice President of the WRABF - Died December 25th 2012
It has been difficult to write an obituary about the Chairman of the European Rimfire and Air Rifle Benchrest Shooting Federation, who was also the Vice President of its sister World Federation, the WRABF. Hopefully what I write couples respect with dignity but mingled with a bit of humour - which he would have liked!
Ladislav Ninger of the Czech Republic died on 25th December 2012. He suffered a stroke earlier in the year, battling against odds to regain consciousness after several months in a coma and fight his way to partial recovery. Sadly, full recovery was not meant to be, as he passed away on Christmas Day leaving behind his partner Eva, two daughters, mother,
brother, family and a great many friends.
At this point we get the tissues out and I can feel his breath at my back as he gets ready to punch me on the arm as we both did in life. Wuss, I hear him exclaim in my minds eye!! The twinkle in his eye and the infectious laugh that he had, resonating around my thoughts.
This is a time for grief, as it is a natural process for the times we all will no longer be able to share with him but, it is also a time of celebration for the times we did have. For the gratitude I personally have for him being in my life and mine in his. I write this as a colleague, a fellow sportsman, but mainly because he was my friend. So really I do not want to talk about his death or the suffering over the last nine months. I want to talk about his life, or the part of it I have seen. Certainly Ladislav was not an angel - I see him smiling that quirky smile as I write that statement - if you ever tasted any of the ‘boom boom’ Czech liquor he carried at times you would know because it is evil stuff. Do I paint a picture of a typical member of the ‘hierarchy’? I hope not, as Ladislav was a man like any other, loving food, loving the ‘occasional’ beer and loving life.
He would stand resolute in his beliefs, taking on logical discussion only and was sometimes misunderstood for being straightforward. He saw rules as rules! No grey areas, just the black and the white, just the logical and precise! Personally, this was easy to deal with as we were the same. Do something, don’t do something but, if you do, then do it one hundred percent. If its time to move on, then move on!
Ladislav was one of those people you could rely on in life, for a great many things. He was a mover and a shaker! Certainly without people like him the state of both rimfire and air rifle benchrest at international level would have taken longer - or just fizzled into obscurity. For these reasons, the sport, the sportspeople, in fact all of us involved have a great deal to honour him for and no doubt we will!
He started the CBRA, the Czech Benchrest Association, to mainly compete in Centerfire Benchrest shooting. Ladislav soon fell in love with rimfire benchrest, developing this extensively and bringing his national team to high profile with various achievements at international level. Since 2009, Ladislav led the European Federation, developing the second European Championship and first World Cup in 2010. This highly successful championship demonstrated his understanding of how such a competition could be professionally run, from taking care of competitors, hotels and transport, through to how each match was run with precision. So impressed were competitors that they wanted next year’s European and World Cup Championship to be in Plzen once again. Ladislav was already in the process of finalising the details of this when he suffered his stroke. With nineteen countries attending and a full capacity of one hundred and twenty competitors, it will be the biggest and most competitive international event for this sport so far. Sadly the tributes we will pay to him next year will not be in person but there will be tributes nevertheless. His vision of professional tournaments will live on. His vision of a growing sport will live on. His vision will live!
This is what we must celebrate in death, the legacy of a person, be it small or big. Ladislav was a big man in every way, whether people understood him or not, his life contributed to others positively in small ways and in big ways. Time is short in this life, there are no practice runs! Ladislav used life to the full, even though for those of us left behind his time with us was cut short. Certainly regarding this sport, like many other people, he contributed a great deal. For this we can all be thankful.
His passing is a sad loss to us all for his humour, his determination and energy. However we will remember the laughter we shared, his friendship, the times he stood resolute with conviction in his purpose and we will miss Ladislav each in our own way!
Ladislav was laid to rest on Friday 4th January 2013. Goodbye Ladislav and rest peacefully our dearest friend. You have been all you could have been and more. You were one of the few!
“Today belongs to few and tomorrow to no one.” W.S. Merwin
Theerapol Kar - Thai Team member 2013 and developer of Rimfire Benchrest in Thailand.
We are deeply saddened to inform that Mr.Theeraphol passed away today - 18th November 2013. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. R.I.P. - Aoy Supreeya Thiprak