Vladimir Lisin, the president of the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF), expressed his satisfaction at the infrastructure of the sport in Bangladesh, but hoped local organisers and sponsors would show more interest and enthusiasm to raise the profile of the sport.
The Russian billionaire, who was elected as the president of the sport's world body in November last year, spoke to local media during his visit to the Bangladesh Shooting Sport Federation's (BSSF) headquarters at the Gulshan Shooting Complex yesterday morning. He was accompanied by ISSF's secretary general Alexander Ratner during the visit to Bangladesh.
“We would expect the BSSF to prepare a strategic plan for development of the sport so that it will be easier to help for us,” Lisin said. “There are more than 150 member federations. It is not possible to financially help all. What we can do is support the federations, support the athletes to develop the sport in future.”
Lisin, the first ISSF high official to visit Bangladesh, stopped in Dhaka on way to Bhutan where he is supposed to inaugurate a shooting range before flying off to India for the World Cup scheduled to get underway later this week. The Russian industrialist said he was satisfied to see the infrastructure here although the support for the sport needs to grow from within.
“I visited six African countries in November, but the infrastructure here is much better than those countries. However, when I look at this shooting range, I see empty walls. These walls should be covered with sponsorship. That is where the game can grow financially. Sponsors give money; spectators give money. We have to sell our sport...on the internet, on TV. If we can make a good show of the sport, it will mean more sponsors and more money,” Lisin observed, adding that for the first time the ISSF has arranged a dedicated TV channel to broadcast the upcoming Delhi World Cup live on a free-to-air basis.
BSSF general secretary Enthekhabul Hamid informed that during their meeting with the ISSF high-ups, they sought cooperation in areas such as athletes' performance, training, shooting range facilities, etc. as their target is to elevate Bangladesh's shooting from the Commonwealth Games level to the elite European and Olympic level.