2019 – EHF Executive Board Minutes, 20th / 21st September 2019

25/05/2020

Minutes20th & 21st September 2019, Sofia, Bulgaria 
 
MeetingExecutive Board
AttendeesMarijke Fleuren, Carola Meyer, Walter Kapounek, Inez Cooper, Patrick Keusters, Peter Elders, Simon Mason, Magdalena Nazaret, Sabina Zampetti, Angus Kirkland   Ophélie Duquesne, EHF Administration Manager  
ApologiesMika Rihtila, Pamela Michaelis
 
Agenda topics
 President’s Welcome, Marijke Fleuren
 The President opened the meeting welcoming the new Board members.
She explained the way of working of the Board, which have meetings in a friendly and open environment.
She apologized for Mika Rihtila and Pam Michaelis who cannot attend the meeting in Sofia.
She thanked Angus Kirkland and Ophélie Duquesne for the work done on the finances in collaboration with Mika.
The President gave a broad overview of the agenda of the meeting.
The Board had asked to review the strategic and operations plan in previous meetings. Our strategy has evolved over the last few the years with the programs we have put in place and it makes sense to renew the strategy of 2017-2024 to 2026 to 2028. The Board will also discuss the new Committee structure for the next years.
The President looked back at all the fantastic events we had during the summer. She was very proud of the Athletes Committee elections and the new Hall of Fame members.
The President was delighted how all the things went in Antwerp with the Championships, the ParaHockey, the 50th-anniversary lunch and the General Assembly. The Push tournament in Breda was also a big success.
The President reported on the meetings she and the Director-General had in Bulgaria the day before. The met with different people involved in the sport, the Bulgarian Hockey Federation and the Rector of the National Sports Academy. 
The next morning, they visited the National Sports Museum where Antonio Antonov presented to the Museum his Diploma of Merit and medals. They then met with the Deputy Minister of Sport and Youth and the Deputy Mayor of Sofia to discuss how they could support a new pitch in Sofia. An important tool for Sofia’s 8 clubs. Antonio Antonov is playing a big role in the development of hockey in Bulgaria but also in the countries around. The Board will go to a hockey game the next day in the afternoon.
   Minutes of Last Meeting 
DiscussionThe minutes of the last two Executive Board meetings, which took place in Brussels on 21st June 2019 and 15th August in Antwerp, were reviewed and Angus went through all the action points and updated the Board on them. The Minutes were then approved. 
   Matters Arising 
DiscussionAll items were covered by the agenda.  
 Communications & Commercial Report, Siobhan Madeley / Simon Mason
DiscussionSimon Mason presented the communication channel analytics of the hugely successful summer of activity to the Board. Our hockey community has grown on all our channels.
He mentioned that the EuroHockey Championships in Antwerp, which was our biggest event of the last year, were not only successful on the pitch but also on social media and communications.
The number of fans interacting about the Championships was enormous.  
On the commercial side, Jokko De Wit has started to work with us to get new partners. We secured a deal with Dakka just before the Championships (LED time and umpire shirts). We have also recently signed a contract with RSI. He is working on a number of other potential partnerships.
Competitions Committee Indoor Report, Walter Kapounek / David Voskamp
DiscussionWalter Kapounek updated the Board on the next Indoor EuroHockey Championships 2020. Some teams have withdrawn for various reasons in the last months. Regarding the Indoor Club Competitions, no teams have withdrawn. The match schedules will be published in the next few weeks. He also mentioned the new indoor rules, in place from 1st October 2019. These are in line with the changes made last year for outdoor. The 2020 Indoor Championships will be the qualifying events for the IWC 2021.
 Competitions Committee Outdoor Report, Walter Kapounek / David Voskamp 
DiscussionWalter Kapounek went through the report of the Committee. The important points to discuss were the new potential new format of the EHC and the qualifications system.   As discussed during the previous Board meeting and mentioned during the General Assembly in August, all the Continental Federations have to provide a second pathway to qualify for the Olympics and the World Cup. In the past, it was the European Championships and tournaments organized by FIH that were used as the 2 pathways to qualify. But this won’t fully be the case from now on.
For the nations that are not participating to the Pro League, it means that they will be playing the Europeans every 2 years but nothing in between. So that’s why the EHF started the discussion about qualification events. Currently, the promotion/relegation system doesn’t guarantee to all the nations the opportunity to qualify for the Olympics in one Olympic cycle.   The proposal is to remove the promotion/relegation system for the Europeans after 2021 and organize a second pathway to qualify for the Olympics/World Cup. The top 4 from the next EuroHockey Championships (in 2021 in Amsterdam) will qualify directly for the following EuroHockey Championship (in 2023) and there will be qualifications events to determine the remaining teams to qualify for the Championships (and to form the groups for the lower divisions too). The final ranking of the 2021 EuroHockey Championships will determine the composition of the groups for the qualifications events based on the snake system. The qualification events will be in the even years.   The number of teams qualified for the Olympics/World Cup through this new system will be determined by the FIH. The Board highlighted the fact that it has to be fair for Europe compared to our strengths and other Continental Federations.   The Board also discussed the format of the Championships. The European Games were organized in Minsk this year. The EHF is in discussions with the Europea Olympic Committee about what possibilities there could be for Hockey. The next European Games is in Poland in 2023.
 
DecisionThe Board approved the principle of the qualifications system to replace the promotion/relegation system to qualify for the Olympics/World Cup in the ear between the Championships. The Board will discuss the 12-teams format in the next meeting, based on the financial case produced by the CCO.  The Board approved the fine for not respecting the deadlines for events. The Board approved the fact to leave the flexibility to the host of appointing local judges that are in the EHF list or let the EHF appoint an extra EHF judges instead of one of the locals.
   Euro Hockey League, Angus Kirkland 
DiscussionThe KO16 is coming soon in Barcelona. The final 4 teams from the KO16 will join the top 4 teams already pre-qualified for the Final8. The draw for the Final8 will be after the KO16. We will have a full tv production and the matches will be livestreamed but charged. The EHL Board had a meeting 2 weeks ago and will have another one during the KO16. This year we are adding a lot including a women’s EHL : it comes with a cost. In the future, we will see the benefits financially but for the moment it is challenging.   
     Development Projects Report, Tom Pedersen-Smith / Peter Elders 
DiscussionPeter Elders presented all the projects from the previous year. The Female Forum is still living, and some participants have implemented concrete actions in the National Association in regard to their own Forum and activity. The Gender Balance campaign was launched successfully. The Youth Panel Leadership forum in Antwerp was also an enormous success for the Youth Leaders who created a big event. Some of them are real leaders to be and we have to stay engaged with them for the future. 
   Education Committee – Umpires, Tom Pedersen-Smith / Inez Cooper
DiscussionThe Education group had a very busy summer, with a big focus around U4E in Breda. Webinars are important for this group and we are working hard to get the mentors closer to their groups. The mentors are working on selecting people for UDP for next year, which is still not balanced yet between men and women. All three current groups were at EHL in Barcelona, with the graduation for group 11. The UDP group did a great job in Antwerp for the ParaHockey. Their feedback was also very positive. These programs are a development for life for some people.
   Education Committee – Officials, Tom Pedersen-Smith / Inez Cooper
DiscussionThe officials group also had a busy an successful summer. They had the opportunity to change the people doing the courses in Breda (as Barbara Morgan was in Antwerp), there were people from a lot of different NA’s. Magda Nazaret, new Board Member, was very happy with the course, it was an awesome infrastructure and organization. Only little minus thing was that TMS was missing. And so the TD was a bit on his own with a lot of paper work to do. The hope is this will be rectified by next year. The group will think of people to replace some of the people that are used to do Breda in case they get an appointment at the same time. They decided to run at EHL a refresher TD course. The refresher UM group worked very well in combination with UDP in Antwerp.
   Education Committee – Coaches, Tom Pedersen-Smith / Inez Cooper
DiscussionThe summer went very well for the coach’s group. We currently have 2 SNG programs with Greece and Slovenia ongoing. We are taking small steps but are going in the right direction. Regarding C4E, there were some minor logistics problems but all went well in the end. The new mentors for TCP are very good. We had very positive comments back from the participating people. The programs have grown in quality and professionalism.
   Hon Treasurer’s Report, Mika Rithila
DiscussionAngus Kirkland went through the financial report in absence of Mika. He gave some details about the year-to-date expenditure and income. He was very pleased to mention that several outstanding invoices were paid off this week and that the number of debtors is decreasing. The EHF bv is set up and the bank account will be set up shortly.
     FIH Report, Walter Kapounek / Marijke Fleuren 
DiscussionThe Pro league meetings were held in a good atmosphere and led to encouraging changes for the coming season.  A business plan is being drafted and will be reviewed by the Board at the FIH EB meeting in November. We received a letter from FIH regarding their finances seeking to clarify its situation which the Board discussed and decided to write to seek further clarification on certain points.  
   Director Generals Report, Angus Kirkland 
DiscussionStrategic plan
The strategic plan shows the direction we want to take to the outside world and how we work. The Board discussed the strategic plan for 2020-2026 and will reconsider the plan every 2 years. It is important that the new board members get a chance to discuss it.  The Board went through the current strategic plan which sits above the Operations Plan. The Board agreed to amend some headings seeing that the FIH had amended their headings in the Operations Plan.
The Strategic Plan is a high-level document with the detail of how we deliver each strategic goal outlined in the Operations Plan which is submitted annually to the FIH.
Angus Kirkland will present our operations plan for next year in November to FIH and in March they review what was done the previous year. We have a lot of connections and a broad network of people that we could use better. Ambition 2026: introduce sustainability Goals: mention clubs, cover the matches for a broader audience Our initiatives need to reflect more the reality at EHF. Operations plan It is drafted by the staff as they are the ones responsible for delivering it on a day to day basis while the strategic plan is the ownership of the Board.
The draft plan was shared with the EB and members encouraged to review their areas in particular and feedback to Angus before the 22nd October. Angus will discuss the operations plan with the other CF’s in November during the CF meeting.  
EHC It was a very successful and despite the long days was a relatively stress-free event in the fact there were no major incidences e.g. power outages, lightning etc! The organization and cooperation with Belgium was very good. The staff worked hard for the event. Also, it was commercially a success. Not everything was perfect of course, as there are many moving parts, and we will reflect with Belgium’s how we can both improve for the future. The EHF will have an internal debrief with the staff and then meet up with the LOC.   After that, we will look into the event manual and draft potential changes for 2021 to sign the contract with the KNHB for 2021. We will start the meetings with KNHB in the new year.    Discipline
The disciplinary process is working and improving. We have less and fewer withdrawals.  Still, we had to issue 2 fines to Lithuania and Gibraltar for late withdrawals over the summer.  
Committees
The new structure was discussed in the last meeting. The organigram is now finished. We will go out for new committees in October, the Board will receive a proposal for membership in the December meeting for their approval.
Appointments have always been independent but there was no direct link with the Board and this had to change because there needs to be a link with education.  Role of board members in committees: Sabina Zampetti will co-chair with Simon Mason on  commercial and communications committee Magda Nazaret will join Inez on the Education Committee and be responsible for appointments and education committee  
 

   
Appointments Committee Report, Angus Kirkland 
DiscussionAngus Kirkland went through the report. We had some withdrawals for outdoor, mainly on the women’s side. But it was a challenging summer with the number of events we had. The Indoor appointments are already published.    It is still difficult to make sure NA’s put forward people for indoor that are really available and that don’t withdraw close to the time of the events.   Peter commented that the program for the top umpires is too heavy these years. They have to be everywhere all the time. When they will all retire, there will be no succession because they are the only ones appointed. 
 Any Other Business 
DiscussionMagda Nazaret was honoured and happy to be there, for her first Board meeting.
Sabina Zampetti was overwhelmed with the amount of information for the last 2 days, but she found it very interesting. 
For Inez Cooper and Carola Meyer, it is important when we meet and work together as we are stronger as Europe altogether.
Patrick mentioned that the Board members are UBO representations of the EHF as they are not shareholders. 
Marijke Fleuren closed the meeting thanking the Board members and the staff for their work.  
Dates for next meetings
December 13/14
March 20/21
June 12
September 18/19 (Germany)
October 29 December 11/12 (Delhi)

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