World Masters Hockey (WMH)
(For details of developments, click on the important papers below.)
The development of the WMH was recently stalled following a number of negative communications between WGMA and FIH. IMHA was not involved or included in these, but has been affected by the outcome of decisions made. It was sad that IMHA’s views on the project were not taken into account. FIH funding for WMH has been stopped and the 2 Masters Organisations have until 31st July 2019 to set up the WMH. Disappointed though the IMHA was with these developments, it was pleased to receive a very positive letter from the WGMA President on the 16th Nov 2018. This letter indicated a willingness to re-engage in the discussions to set up the WMH. The IMHA President’s response is copied below.
“Greetings to our friends in the world-wide Hockey Family,
I cannot tell you how happy the IMHA has been to receive such a positive communication from the WGMA. The IMHA wholeheartedly agrees that it is vital that the WMH is built upon the strong foundations of an efficient and effective management structure based upon experience, the principles of transparency of decision making, good governance, gender equality and recognition of the future needs of Masters Hockey across the world. The programme of development and articles of Association already agreed by the WMH Interim Board and the FIH EB will ensure that we can all be relaxed about the safe hands guiding the WMH in its early days of existence. Much praise is due to the Chairs and members of the 4 working parties for their contributions to this process and the future direction of the WMH.
I, personally, am very pleased that the WGMA has not withdrawn from the development of the WMH, as it would be a travesty if either of the present Masters Associations were not there to ensure that the good things that have evolved over the last few decades are enshrined in the soul of the WMH. As Wim has stated on a number of occasions, we have completed 80% of the tasks required to allow the WMH to replace the IMHA and WGMA, no later than the 1st August 2019, so this shared urgency to complete the final 20% before both organisations are de-recognised by FIH is obviously very important. I am confident that the WGMA proposals will be focused upon the remaining 20% of the tasks to be completed and so I look forward to receiving a copy of these this week so that I may give them the serious consideration they deserve in advance of my meeting with Wim in Rotterdam.
Whatever the outcome to that meeting, IMHA will continue to meet the timetables set out by the FIH. IMHA will work with WGMA providing the views of the IMHA Board are respected and the WGMA demonstrates a willingness to compromise in areas of contention. To date IMHA has made all the compromises to keep the project alive.
The 2018 IMHA Congress overwhelmingly supported the set up timescales for the WMH and the dissolution of the IMHA when the WMH becomes operationally viable. The balance of IMHA funds at that time will be transferred into the WMH accounts.
This is the new single Masters Hockey entity to replace the IMHA and WGMA from November 2018 . There have been many meetings over the last few years between officers of the FIH, the IMHA and WGMA and much planning and preparation has gone into developing this project to its present point. Sue Catton was selected as chairperson by both IMHA and WGMA, as was Steve Catton who was appointed as the Project Officer.
The memberships of both organisations approved the setting up of this fledgling company at the Extra-ordinary General Meetings (EGM) of the IMHA in Tilburg and the WGMA in Glasgow. The WGMA meeting approved in principle, the IMHA meeting approved the actual setting up of the company to take over from the IMHA and WGMA in 2019. The 2018 WGMA Congress in Barcelona passed a similar resolution and with a sustainable structure having been agreed, the focus is now upon enabling the WMH to take responsibility for organising and sanctioning all Masters Hockey, anywhere in the world, from the age of 35 upwards. The 2018 IMHA Congress in Terrassa approved the dissolution of the IMHA once the WMH was viably operational and agreed that the balance of IMHA funds should be given to the WMH.
The future of the WMH looks promising and while there is still a lot of work to be done, the Chairs and Members of the working parties have identified appropriate approaches to running this new organisation and ensuring that high quality management of on the field play and the organisation of future tournaments for all Masters Hockey players – Masters and Grand Masters alike.