The President of the Scottish Sambo Federation is confident the sport "will get there" in terms of future Olympic inclusion ©FIAS

The President of the Scottish Sambo Federation, which will host the 2020 edition of the President's Sambo Cup, is confident the sport "will get there" in terms of future Olympic inclusion.

Robin Hyslop was speaking in Ballymena during the 2019 edition of the annual tournament here, which was won for the sixth year in a row by Russia.

Sambo has long campaigned for inclusion at major multi-sport Games, and joined lacrosse and kickboxing in being granted provisional International Olympic Committee (IOC) recognition for a period of three years in November.

It means the International Sambo Federation (FIAS) is now able to receive funding from the IOC and is able to apply for grants to help fund their development programmes. 

This boosts the sport's hopes of becoming a full Olympic sport in future.

Hyslop, who will be involved in the organisation of the 2020 President's Sambo Cup in Dumfries, said he is confident they are on the right path.

"We have to – you don't start going down a road, where you know where the end is, you do not stop halfway down," he said.

"We will get there – I may be old when it does, but it will happen."

He said there is excitement for Scotland hosting the competition for the first time since 2016, when it was held in Edinburgh.

He said they would take pointers from Ballymena in how to host the event in a medium-sized town, and also in how FIAS runs their World Championships.

Russia celebrate winning the President's Sambo Cup, which next year will be held in Dumfries ©FIAS
Russia celebrate winning the President's Sambo Cup, which next year will be held in Dumfries ©FIAS

"Next year we are expecting to get a real tough team, and I've got a lot of people backing the idea of bringing a tournament like this to the south-west of Scotland, to a town which is a similar size to Ballymena," he said.

"In terms of how to put the competition on, we've got to bow down to FIAS in terms of the organisation, they are second to none – wherever it is, whether it is the competition, the hotels, picking people up from the airport, it's always done properly, the tournaments are really good.

"I've got to try and match some of that when the Cup comes to Scotland next year, and I am in the mood to impress some people."

The President's Sambo Cup has been won in each of the six years it has been held in the current format by Russia, who this year saw off Republic of Ireland 5-2 in the final.

Just seven teams took part in the competition this year, following the late withdrawal of United States.

Michael Wynne-Parker, President of the Commonwealth Sambo Association which organises the event, admitted the sport needs to expand and bemoaned the lack of funding currently available to allow this to happen.

"Sambo is a very universal sport, and increasingly so, however in the British Commonwealth, we have very little representation here except for the Caribbean," he said.

"Maybe in the future there will be more development of Commonwealth sambo, but there are many questions to be answered.

"At the end of the day it comes to funding – you do not even put on a small event such as this for little, it takes a year of planning and the costs are complicated.

"In a perfect world there would be Commonwealth funding, but this is not going to happen until we get full Olympic participation.

"Once that is rubber-stamped, then I think there would be a very good chance of the Commonwealth being involved.

"We are very positive, you see the excellence of the sport with no resources, with volunteers and helpers who don't get paid a penny, it makes us very optimistic."