(ATR) The recently elected president of the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) tells Around the Rings change is coming for the sport.
Vladimir Lisin, 62, says the platform he ran on in his election, "10 Targets To Hit", forms the basis for the future of the ISSF, which is under new leadership for the first time since 1980.
"We are all interested and doing our best to make [the changes] happen as soon as possible. This, of course, requires a consolidated effort by all Member Federations as what we're talking about is one of the most universal sports with a wide representation at the Olympics and all Continental Games, as well as at the majority of the most massive international multisport competitions."
Lisin is putting his own money into the effort, committing $10 million to establish a development fund that will not depend on the money the ISSF has received or will receive from the IOC.
The first $2.5 million of his donation, for the years 2019-2022, was transferred to the ISSF accounts on January 10.He says the transfer of the rest of the money will be determined by the ISSF Executive Committee and in accordance with the applicable German laws, which the Munich-based federation is required to follow.
"This money will be spent on support with purchasing equipment, targets, ammunition, on providing coach education, etc. to those federations that will be able to establish development programs and gain the required support from the local state authorities or NOC in building the shooting facilities," Lisin tells ATR.
"Additionally, part of this money will be earmarked to encourage the national federations for their achievements in winning the Olympic quotas for Tokyo 2020 and to provide the opportunity for the athletes to participate in as many competitions as possible."
Further contributions, either financial or material, are being sought as well.
"I proposed to the manufacturers of shooting products to join this Project. We already have the first interested feedbacks. I hope that in the near future the contribution to the development of our sport by industries will grow to a larger scale," Lisin adds.
He tells ATR there is "no reason to move" the ISSF headquarters from Munich. "We plan to move to a more spacious office, which, hopefully, will become home for all our federations."
Lisin was elected to succeed the longest-serving world sportsman in his position, the Mexican Olegario Vázquez Raña as ISSF president on November 30.
One of the issues that has not gone away with a change in leadership is the negative effect that mass shootings, most often in the USA, have on shooting sport.
Lisin compares the guns used in shooting sport to a knife or baseball bat. He says while they are "still capable of causing certain damage", it is nothing on the scale of an assault or automatic weapon.
"Our sport has nothing to do with aggression. Our athletes never train with human silhouettes for targets. We all are rule and law abiding people. What we have to do is communicate this message and combat the negative.
"There is no universal solution. It needs everyday work to promote our sport and to explain to society that our sport is exciting, beautiful and not more risky than any other."
Written by Gerard Farek
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