It was interesting to see people wanting Field Target to be considered as a sport that could be at the Olympics, it’s something I can understand, the recognition would be great but I don’t think it will be something that ever happens and here’s why.
At the moment Field Target is run purely by volunteers, kind people who give up their time to make things happen, some have more time than others but I don’t believe that those who do the perceived most should have all the say. I’ve always believed that everyone is entitled to an opinion, I know that may not be a popular view with some but that’s the way I believe it should go. What I’m saying here is there is no collective vision, regions and countries are pretty much free to do as they wish.
To get all the documents needed together to get past the first stage of being accepted into the Olympics would take two people working none stop working with every region/country to beat everything into shape and I mean everything, you may even need as many as 10 people. This wouldn’t be an easy task and you would meet with a lot of resistance but the bigger problem would be who would actually pay for these people to sit there and actually do the work? Where exactly is that money coming from? Most people in Field Target moan about the price of a Grand Prix let alone helping fund a multi-million campaign!
Getting into the Olympics is a massive task, one that is expensive, convoluted and very political. Field Target isn’t a multi-million-pound sport, you can’t help but notice that so getting recognised by the International Olympic Committee will never be easy. First, we need an International Federation overseeing the sport and we must adhere to the World Anti-Doping Code. Once we have done this can we apply for recognition from the IOC.
I’m not sure how many people you need to run the World Anti-Doping Code but the list of what isn’t allowed is massive, you can take a look at that list here (https://www.wada-ama.org/sites/default/files/prohibited_list_2018_en.pdf).
I know a fair few shooters who take beta blockers, myself included, I’m sure a lot of people think that they are miracle workers that give you an advantage, well, all I can say to those people is look at my scores!
So, that would mean I’d be completely out of the sport because beta blockers are also prohibited out of competition. Even a Lemsip will get you banned, so introducing this law into Field Target would only ever reduce the numbers and cause even more arguments, can we really afford to go there?*
Talking of affording, where would we get the £500,000 it costs to put a campaign together? Often you will need to do at least 4 campaigns to the IOC and for your sport to get in another sport has to actually fail to get in. Look at Squash, it’s campaigned for 15yrs and failed every single time. I don’t know about you but I haven’t got 15yrs and £2,000,000.
* Since writing this article I’ve done a bit more research and you can actually get prohibited drugs signed off by a doctor and the committee if you have a good reason to be taking them. It does look like a complex process but it can be done, not that I’d ever make the Olympics :). Readers may find this document interesting to read https://www.wada-ama.org/sites/default/files/resources/files/cas-2013-a-3437-issf.pdf
Many thanks to Roberto Menichelli for his help, I don’t think it changes my mind on how we’d actually get all the above done with the people and funds we have available. I honestly feel we’d be better investing in ourselves and creating our own large scale events than worrying about being at the Olympics.