SINGAPORE - As the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) ushered in a new era by appointing a new president for the first time in four decades, Singapore Shooting Association president Michael Vaz has also become the first Singaporean to be elected as an ISSF administrative council member.
At the 68th ISSF general assembly in Munich, Germany on Saturday (Dec 1), Russian Vladimir Lisin replaced Olegario Vazquez Rana, a Mexican who had been at the helm of the world body for 38 years.
Delegates from over 130 countries voted to elect the 15 members of the ISSF administrative council from 39 candidates, and Vaz was one of four Asians selected, alongside Iran's Ali Dadgar, South Korea's Lee Dal-gon and China's Liang Chun.
Vaz told The Straits Times that under Lisin's leadership, the new council will dictate the direction of world shooting events in terms of policies and rules for Olympic events over the next four years.
"This appointment gives Singapore recognition in the world of shooting as it is the first time a Singaporean, or an Asean representative, will have a voice in the ISSF, which has been, and still is, predominantly controlled by the Europeans," said the 64-year-old.
"Personally, it will give me an insight into where shooting is headed and allows me to prepare Singapore shooting for what lies ahead.
"We are already preparing for a new event - target sprint - and arranging alliances with other countries which will give our national team an advantage in international competition in terms of know-how.
"In the bigger scheme of things, the ISSF council will also be dealing with challenges such as reinstating shooting in the 2022 Commonwealth Games."
Vaz is the latest Singaporean to be elected as a council member of an international sports association.
Others include Annabel Pennefather, a former International Hockey Federation (FIH) vice-president who is now the president of the FIH's judicial commission, the International Association of Athletics Federations disciplinary tribunal and an external judicial expert with the Badminton World Federation.
Football Association of Singapore president Lim Kia Tong, who previously served as deputy chairman of Fifa's disciplinary committee (DC), is now the DC chairman of the Asian Football Confederation.