Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) President Luciano Rossi is a chip off the old block, as far as shooting is concerned. His father was a shooter and Rossi put his foot into his father’s shoe. He passed it on to his children. Rossi’s mission is to make shooting so inclusive that people from every financial background can pursue the sport.
Well-behaved, straight-faced, smiling, soft-spoken Rossi represents the typical Italian look. A shooter par excellence, Rossi took over as president of the ISSF in November 2022. Rossi, who is in Bhopal for the ISSF World Cup, spoke about the status of shooting in a tete-a-tete with Free Press. Excerpts.
FP: Do you think MP did a good job with World Cup preparations?
LR: The sports minister did a great job. I am satisfied with the facilities here. I feel delighted too that officials here are working for the betterment of shooting.
FP: What are the things you’ll work on during your tenure as ISSF President?
LR: There are many things that my team and I are working on to make shooting stronger than ever. Our major focus is on publicising the sport so that people start recognising the game and shooters. In shooting, everyone knows each other within the community, but I want the world to recognise us.
FP: Do you think that shooting will always remain a rich man's sport?
LR- No! Shooting has royal origins. Hence, people consider it a rich man's sport, but my focus is to bring out talent from every financial background. We don’t just want shooters from developed or developing countries; but from under-developed countries as well. We want shooters from Africa to shine on the shooting map too. The MP Shooting Academy is a great initiative and we need more such government-run academies in the world.
FP- What is the most significant change you would like to see in shooting fraternity?
LR: I want women to take the throne. They have struggled a lot. Especially in sports, they have been side-lined for a long period of time. I want women to come up and do even better than men. It is happening too.
FP: How are ISSF’s relations with the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI)?
LR: India is a friend. Indian shooters are doing great, and even the NRAI is growing bigger every day. Everyone from officials to shooters is working hard here.
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