An ISSF delegation, including the new ISSF President Vladimir Lisin, Secretary General Alexander Ratner, Administrative Council member Peter Underhill and Hamish McInnes – CEO of British Shooting – visited Birmingham (GBR) to lobby in favor of the inclusion of Shooting sport in the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
The delegation met a group of stakeholders, including: Paul Oldfield of the Commonwealth Games Delivery Unit, Paul Blanchard – CEO of the England Commonwealth Games Association – Ian Reid, interim CEO of Birmingham 2022, Neil Carney of Birmingham City Council, Todd Cooper and Matthew Kidson of Birmingham 2022.
During the meeting, Peter Underhill delivered a presentation stressing the importance of Shooting sport for the Commonwealth Games movement. It is indeed well known to all involved in the Commonwealth movement what advantages Shooting brings in the Games: universality, gender equity, representation and medal opportunities, as well as the spirit of youth. The 28 ISSF Member Federations of the Commonwealth and the 12 other smaller islands and dependancies constitute some 42 nations spanning all 5 continents. They and the Shooting sport make a significant contribution to any Games in every respect and truly embrace and reflect the Commonwealth Games ethos of the “friendly Games.”
The ISSF delegation handed over to the stakeholders the appeal to include our Olympic sport in the program of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, made by 159 ISSF member federations participating in the 68th ISSF General Assembly, three days ago.
The ISSF presentation and the information provided were positively received by the stakeholders. In case they consider the inclusion possible, the report will be delivered at the next Birmingham 2022 meeting on 20 January, 2019.
ISSF Secretary General said, after the meeting:
“We hope our counterparts understand that the attempt to save a relatively small amount of money in the organization of the event, can lead to multi-million losses in the countries where Shooting sport receives governmental support.”
“Besides that, – Alexander Ratner continued – it can affect smaller nations, where our sport is the only one in which they are represented at the Games or win medals. All this would certainly have a negative impact on the Commonwealth community.”
Further decisions will depend on the evaluation of the Commonwealth Games Federation, and the ratification of the CGF General Assembly.