Report by President Michael on his Sochi, Russia Business Trip

Actual CurrentDear Shufflers,
Most of you have followed the events as they unfolded in  the recent Norwegian Inaugural through ISA Communications Chairman Stan  McCormack and his blog. It was a wonderful experience and my 4th Inaugural and  if you have never participated in one, you are missing the experience of a lifetime. Each and every member of this ISA  Delegation, representing 4 member nations, reflected highly upon themselves,  their respective nations and our fine organization and I for one am  especially proud of each and every one of  them.
Immediatly following Norway, my presence was formally  requested in Russia by Mr. Igor Ekert.  Original plans were to  meet Igor and his team in Moscow and attend high level meetings there with  city and government officials however the location was changed to Sochi, the  2014 Olympic City where everyone seemed to be headed.  I was met at the  airport by Igor and lodged at the summer residence of a federal  deputy and staunch supporter of Igor and his shuffleboard program. During these  6 days we attended meetings with para-olympic, city, state and government  officials representing the physically challenged, university  students and senior citizens. I also presided as guest of honor to  a shuffleboard tournament of wheelchair bound athletes. Quite a  bit of  TV and media coverage took place, highlighting my official  visit.  I must admit, I was skeptical at first to accept this invitation to  Russia by Igor due to his long bouts of silence and communications difficulty  but I soon realized the important role the ISA and I were about to assume.  While most of us think Mr. Ekert has been  taking life easy and just  playing shuffleboard we could not be farther from the truth. He has  officially formed and registered the Russian Shuffleboard Association and  Russian Shuffleboard Federation in the legal system and also the i-net domains.  He purchased 5 courts from Germany last year and has donated each one of them to  special institutions and sets up events at each location. While this has  been attracting media and player attention  more importantly it has  attracted state and federal officialls who are eager to support him.  It’s not my role as ISA President to get into court and equipment  purchases rather it’s to offer direct support and advice to our members and  new potential member nations. However, there are those willing to judge a  nation and it’s leader’s progress in shuffleboard by amounts of equipment  purchased or not. What I witnessed in these meetings regarding allocating  funding for the purchase of  shuffleboard equipment in various  agencies in the near future opened my eyes and ears to what Igor had been  preaching all along.  In his own words, “Mr President, I am not selling  shoes, for 5 years I’ve been selling “walking” and soon everyone will need  shoes for the walking. Selling a few courts to nations doesn’t make  progress it only makes little profits and only spreads shuffleboard to a  little number of people.”
As your President, I officially recognize and will  totally support Russian Shuffleboard Association President Igor Ekert and it truly is in the best interest of the entire ISA to do  so. I have extended a formal invitation and expect to see and meet  President Ekert and his Russian Delegation at the 32nd ISA World Championship  where they will compete and formally request membership in the ISA.   
Prof. Michael Robert Zellner
ISA President   2013 07 07
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3 Responses to Report by President Michael on his Sochi, Russia Business Trip

  1. Maureen Bryan says:

    Michael, so glad your meeting was positive, and Mr. Igor Ekert has had positive results for his efforts. This is very encouraging for Russia shufflers and the ISA Will be a pleasure to see them in St. PETERSBERG . Bill & Maureen Bryan.


  2. Myrna Bilton says:

    Congratulations Michael on your business meeting in Sochi, Russia.
    Congratulations to President Igor Ekert and the Russian Shuffleboard Association. We wish
    you continued success with your meetings to join the ISA.
    We look forward to seeing Igor again with his Russian Delegation.
    Rendall & Myrna


  3. Pingback: Great News From Russia!! | celebrate100yearsofshuffleboard

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