Hope still prevails to accommodate shooting in Birmingham CWG: Report

Birmingham 2022 CWG,2022 Commonwealth Games,Birmingham Games,Commonwealth Shooting Championships,2022 Birmingham

Amidst Indian Olympic Association’s threat to boycott the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games, optimism still prevails to find a solution to accommodate shooting in the Games’ schedule.

Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) chief executive David Grevemberg is hopeful that shooting may still be involved in the Birmingham 2022 Games, Insidethegames.biz has reported. Grevemberg is optimistic that talks with the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) can find innovative and creative solutions to address concerns of India.

The IOA has threatened to boycott the 2022 Birmingham Games if a solution were not found for shooting, which has been excluded from the Games disciplines.

CGF President Dame Louise Martin and Grevemberg will travel to Munich following the conclusion of the Birmingham 2022 Coordination Commission in the 2020 CWG host city to attend the ISSF General Assembly on Saturday, December 7.

Grevemberg said the CGF’s meeting with ISSF President Vladimir Lisin and secretary-general Alexander Ratner would be “exploratory” and explained that the organization is keen to discuss the ISSF plans for shooting within the Commonwealth sports movement.

Read: Golden Trio: Manu, Elavenil, Divyansh claim top honours in shooting World Cup Finals

There was the possibility to “adapt and modify” to help embrace interests of different groups within the movement, including over shooting’s possible involvement around Birmingham 2022, said the CGF CEO.

“Until we have sat down with them (ISSF), it is difficult to know what they are willing to champion,” Insidethegames has reported Grevemberg as saying. “I think we all as sports federations need to look through the lens differently at times and see how we can adapt and modify our movements to embrace the interests of diverse groups.

“What may be of interest in Oceania and the Caribbean may not be of interest in central Asia, Europe or Africa. We need to look at how we can bring this together.

“Birmingham has a fixed programme and it is moving in that direction.

“Anything adjunct to that would be something that has to be debated and discussed through our system.

“This is really our responsibility now to look at what is possible – I think where we go from here is continuing this dialogue.

“We have had more dialogue with shooting than ever, which is a good sign.

“I am optimistic we will have a good relationship with shooting moving forwards.

“We are working out what can be done, by when and why.

“We need to look at ISSF’s ambitions for its growth, as well as how it looks to make the sport accessible, fun, engaging and relevant to future growth and future markets.

Also Read: CGF president for shooting’s inclusion at 2022 Birmingham CWG

“I think all of that comes into play of how and why we use an event to achieve this.

“India is an enormous country and we need to know its plans for India, this is not just a two-way conversation.”

India had threatened to boycott Birmingham 2022 over shooting’s non inclusion ©Getty Images

India had threatened to boycott Birmingham 2022 over shooting’s non inclusion ©Getty Images

Following their meeting with the IOA last month, the CGF claimed they were committed to finding a solution to India’s concerns over the “non-inclusion of shooting as a competitive event at Birmingham 2022”.

The organisation said it hoped to find a solution which worked for the IOA and India, as well as the UK Government, the ISSF, and Birmingham 2022.

The possibility of a Commonwealth Shooting Championships has repeatedly been cited as a potential avenue for the CGF.

Grevemberg said the organisation would need to examine where such an event would fit within the sport’s ambitions.

While stressing the Birmingham 2022 programme is fixed, the CGF chief executive suggested an innovative solution may be found.

“Not to overall speculate, as we have not really had the chance to talk in detail with the ISSF, but there have been plenty of great ideas,” he said.

“I know there has been some talk of a Commonwealth Shooting Championships, because it has been an event that has been organised in the past.

“I think talking with the ISSF to see what innovation and creativity they can come up with, rather than the normal transactional relationship, that is what we are looking to have.

“I would not want to speculate too much on a particular solution.

“We will have some exhaustive discussions and spark some real innovation as to where we can go from here.

“We would need to look at where a Commonwealth Shooting Championships would fit in the shooting sport movement.

“Maybe there is a different format or a different type of event.

“Maybe there is something out there that we haven’t considered that the sport of shooting can educate us on, and we can work together.”

Shooting, though not a compulsory Commonwealth Games discipline, has been part of every event since Kingston 1966, with the exception of Edinburgh in 1970.

India had won 16 medals, including seven golds, at the 2018 Gold Coast CWG.

Also Read: Shooting World Cup Final: Manu, Rahi knocked out of 25m air pistol event