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Leandro Negre at WGMA Congress
WGMA President Wim van Noortwijk welcomed Leandro Negre, President of FIH, to the WGMA Congress in Newcastle, NSW on 8th May and thanked him for making the long journey from Europe to attend Congress and to watch the tournament in progress.
He invited Mr Negre to address the meeting and, as President of the sport’s international governing body, to give members his own vision of the future for Masters and Grand Masters hockey.
The FIH President began by applauding all that had been achieved by WGMA and IMHA in developing Masters and Grand Masters hockey over the last fifteen years. He emphasised that Masters and Grand Masters were now an integral part of the Hockey Revolution that had been outlined by FIH at their last Congress in Marrakesh in 2014. He made it clear that he wished there to be one combined voice speaking for Masters and Grand Masters in its dialogue with FIH and that this was essential to enable FIH to promote Masters hockey as a whole to Continental Federations and National Associations.
He went on to say that FIH did not wish to force IMHA or WGMA into any particular way forward but hoped that the two organisations could themselves propose a development plan that would allow them both to continue the excellent work that they are doing but at the same time create a body which spoke for both and ensured that Masters and Grand Masters presented a united front. He asked that WGMA and IMHA both agree in principle to a form of action before the FIH Congress in Dubai later this year and that they then work on implementing this plan over the next two years.