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Andrea Fonzari takes stock of the Inline Hockey situation after his first WRG as Chairman

Mr Andrea Fonzari has been appointed as Chairman of the Inline Hockey Technical Commission at the end of last February: “Picking up the baton and handling the complex inheritance being left by Alberto Lastrucci was, since the beginning, a stimulating and demanding task at the same time. Personally, I have never been afraid of challenges; the winning mixture of professionalism, composure and honesty - that has always fed my passion - coupled with the awareness of working in a very competent and cohesive commission has undoubtedly contributed to a smoother start.”

Q. “Since the beginning, you and your Technical Commission had to deal with the complexity of a challenging handover, also because the WRG were approaching”
A. “Thanks to the noteworthy work done by Alberto over the years, we were able to successfully hold the first seminar for coaches and referees last February before (re)taking the lead on the planning of the Barcelona World Roller Games which have gathered 28 different national federations, 69 teams, 950 athletes and 26 officials from all 5 continental areas. If we add that Inline hockey was only one of the 11 different disciplines participating in the WRG, then we can better grasp the overall scope of the Barcelona Games as well as its general organizational complexity.”

Q. “Which were the keywords in your mind in that first phase?”
A. “Full openness towards each National Federation and willingness to engage in dialogue are the features I immediately wanted to include in the new asset of the IHTC.
Right from the start, my commission had no difficulty in espousing this new general vision which immediately resulted in positive outcomes. Although the "new course" was not well received by everyone, we were pleased to open several constructive dialogues with many Federations. This laid the foundation for what has already begun to be serious and constructive collaborations. As my wise and far-sighted friend Mr. Gilbert Portier recently wrote to me, "a new era is starting...".”

Q. “During the WRG we saw some developing countries showing a so high technical level.”
A. “From a technical and sporting point of view, the quality offered by the selections present at the WRGs is a step taken forward towards a more dynamic, organised and spectacular playing technique. Significant advancements have been made, as shown by some realities that only a few years ago could not yet express or capitalize on the enormous work being done. The general perception is that the average level has risen while top selections have maintained past high-level quality standards. At the same time, the officiating component has undoubtedly been able to ensure absolute quality.”

Q: “Barcelona is a wrap: now it’s time to take the stock of it and look ahead.”
A. “Certainly, I do not want to make it look as if everything has worked at its best. We are aware of the fact that not all the decisions taken was the popular one, but we did our best to make it work for our games; on the other hand, it does not take any particular gift of humility to be aware of the fact that no one is infallible. From a technical point of view, some difficulties aroused from the proposed format. Since the beginning, we knew that the main obstacle would have been the limited number of games available: We strive a lot to achieve the best possible conditions and to ensure at least the most democratic possible combination so that everyone could have an equal number of matches. The flip side of such approach has probably weighed on the appeal and value of the Inline Hockey product offered. Nevertheless, my Commission has been able to turn this challenge into an opportunity and has started to work on what will be a real revolution in the immediate future. I do not anticipate anything specific yet, but all of us within the IHTC are excited about what is boiling in the pot. Speaking of the IHTC, I would like to mention and thank one by one the members of the Commission: Tomas Brezina, mind and guiding light of our work; Eduardo Rojas, voice and vision; Ramin Atighechi, kindness and helpfulness. I am also grateful to Nick Mintsopoulos for the enormous support he extended to us in terms of experience and organization.”

“Simple conclusion by key words: More Cooperation in the Present and in the Future, Open Dialogue, Appeal and Professionalism in what aims at being and shall be a New Sport Era.”