28th November 2016: During the FIH Congress in Dubai, Leandro Negre retired as President of the FIH. It was a moment to reflect on who is Leandro and how he has contributed to World and European Hockey. 

Thanks Leandro for motivating all of us!

Marijke Fleuren, President of the EHF, spoke about Leandro and was honoured to present him with a gift from the EHF! The plate is engraved with the signatures of all the people he served with on the EHF Board. In addressing Leandro, Marijke said ” We would like to thank you for all you did in the middle of your hockey family, together here in Dubai” 

She added “Where you came from… 

In a way successor of your father who founded EHF in Cardiff in 1969. Living in Barcelona, Juniors is your Hockey Club, FC Barcelona your Football club. You started in EHF in 1993 as  a Vice President and went on to become President 2003 in Barcelona with your own family next to you. 2007 in Hungary, in Budapest,was your last official European Congress, before you left to take over the helm of the FIH as President in December 2008. “

 

“What you did?  

You brought new oxygen to the EHF! New ideas about competition, formats, promotion and relegation, committee structure, you started the EHL 10 years ago, a revolutionary competition with new ideas , with prize money and new regulations. You were ‘ahead of the time!”You also took care for an up to date EHF household with a beautiful office in Brussels! It is an asset, but also renovated in such a lovely way! The special ceiling, the beautiful floor, open and fresh with so much glass, very modern. Again you were ahead of the time! In 2008 it was your time for a change. In Los Angeles you became the FIH President. A tough fight, but you did it! It is hard to image that that is 8 years ago… How time flies!

 

Talking about Leandro, the man, Marijke added “The world started to know you. Your ability to speak different languages, to connect with different people, thinking in win/win situations. Your approachability is legendary to every player, coach, administrator and President. To everyone you are the same person : open, friendly and interested, and always with a smile. You have been for all of us, your European family, a true friend. And that is unforgettable. That is forever!”

 

Thanking Leandro on behalf of the European family Marijke thanked him for his passion, his smile, his dedication and his friendship. “We will miss you…” She finished saying that “For me personally you have been a big friend. I will especially miss when you phone me and start with: I am Leandro! I knew of course, saw it on my display!”

 

She then presented the silver plater…

 

4 marijke and leandro