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Boycott the Olympics urges sports group

PUBLISHED: 12:06 07 May 2009 | UPDATED: 16:40 25 August 2010

SHOOTING fans should boycott London s 2012 Olympics because temporary facilities will leave no legacy to the sport, according to a sporting body.

SHOOTING fans should boycott London's 2012 Olympics because temporary facilities will leave no legacy to the sport, according to a sporting body.

The Sportsman's Association wants the gun events to be moved from Woolwich Arsenal to Bisley, in Surrey, which has been the traditional home of shooting for nearly 150 years or its members will not help run the events.

Bisley was originally going to hold the Olympic events but plans were changed when it emerged the facilities needed to be refurbished.

Now a temporary 7,500 seat structure at Woolwich Royal Artillery Barracks will host the shooting at a costing between £30 and £42 million, before being dismantled at the end of the Games.

Spokesperson for the Sportsman's Association, Albie Fox, said: "The decision will mean that there will be no legacy for shooting from the Olympic Games.

"We have bent over backwards to facilitate events such as the Commonwealth Games and Olympics. What do we get in return? Nothing except more legislation designed to kill off the sport. That is why we are calling on all shooters, judges, range officers, and volunteers to withhold their support as volunteers to run the shooting events."

The London 2012 website states: "London 2012 will depend on up to 70,000 volunteers to make sure the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games run smoothly and successfully."

Mr Fox said: "Without those volunteers they will need to import the officials necessary to run the events. If we are successful in harnessing the anger currently felt by shooters the Olympic committee will be severely embarrassed and inconvenienced at Woolwich.

"Bisley is 30 minutes from London, will be cheaper to modify to Olympic standards and will leave a lasting legacy for shooting sports. Not using Bisley can only lead us to conclude that someone has deliberately decided to shaft us.".

The Association also wants the British Shooting Sports Council (BSSC) to mobilise all shooting bodies to back their campaign and organise a protest march in London.

A spokeswoman for the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games said: "The board ruled out the choice of Bisley because of the cost, operational complexity and risks associated with the proposals that could compromise the reputation of the Games.

"It would be a shame if specialist shooting volunteers chose not to volunteer to help at an iconic venue which will showcase shooting, bring the sport to a new audience, and help deliver an event of which everyone can be proud."

katharine.nelson@archant.co.uk

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