A brief word from our President

5… Five. A really nice round number. 5th GA, practically 5 years and IFHEMA does not only exist, but even managed to grow in numbers, through regretfully losing a member on the way. After Sweden joining last year and Russia increasing our ranks this year, we are 14 members strong. On the way we also managed to create an IFHEMA dedicated tournament, the IIC, that had its second event this year in Lisbon, and we are looking forward to not having such in every second or third year, but yearly: for 2019 Toulouse in France, for 2020 Győr in Hungary will be host of both the yearly General Assembly and the IFHEMA International Cup. Seeing the success of this year’s event in Lisbon with 130+ athletes I am very optimistic and looking forward visiting the venues.


Until then we continue our work. While Falko Fritz from Germany (former Vice President) and Matyas Miskolczi from Hungary (former Treasurer) are leaving the board after being part of this journey straight from the very beginning, we welcome new members in the person of Karin Verelst from Belgium (Vice President) and Filipe Martins from Portugal (Vice Secretary) to the present group of Wiebke Etzold from Germany (Secretary), Dieter Bachmann from Switzerland (Treasurer) and Gábor Németh form Hungary (President). Falko and Mátyás have left huge shoes to fill being solid and devoted members of the Executive Committee. They are stepping down with the firm promise, and I won’t doubt it for a minute, that they won’t disappear into the mist but stay around to offer support for the cause of IFHEMA in one way or another. I am grateful for all their hard work and contribution and really appreciate any help they can offer in the years to come. Thank you!!!

It is worth looking back at these 5 years, because they are not without achievements. But we also need to look forward and take those matters into account, that come as a kind of warning sign from the past years.

It is worth looking back at these 5 years, because it is not without any achievements, but we need to be even more forward looking taking those mattersinto account, that come as a kind of warning sign from the past years. In short: ensure, that IFHEMA is visibly, clearly working towards goals that are meaningful for its members and the HEMA community in general. However, we are looking at a chicken and egg problem: the members are hopeful (at least I assume), that IFHEMA will grow and fulfil its purpose. Yet, IFHEMA will not be growing simply because we wish it would.


I see three challenges for the coming years: 1) identify, how we can extend our reach and involve more groups into IFHEMA, one way or the other. Whether it comes through membership or meaningful, strategic alliances, it is somewhat secondary. 2) convince the member federations to dedicate more resources to IFHEMA: work in the commissions, bring our social media alive by sharing news and making noise, express expectations to which they are also willing to dedicate resources and allow our patronage, now only in name at least, for any event that is meant for HEMA public beyond borders. 3) engage the HEMA community: primarily those of our members, but not in an exclusive manner. I expect and partially experience, that there is scepticism towards IFHEMA: either people don’t understand, what IFHEMA was founded for and they don’t even care, or it is not actively promoted among or members.


What can IFHEMA do for you? For now, it is rather the case and please rather consider: For now, and in this situation, please consider: “What can I do for IFHEMA?” It is our kid and it’s still small. We need to nurture and help it grow so in the future it can really be the institution, that represents HEMA in all manner according to the values and goals that the HEMA community itself holds dear. Sure, it is cool to say, but sorry to bring it to you: none and nothing is born ready, not even you.


You are not yet there you say? In experience, in organizing, in whatever. Does not matter. We will never really be “there”, because there are always new goals to pursue. But we will definitely never get there if we don’t act on it.


You don’t have time? That I understand: we all have our family and our work to consider first, then our free time activities, our own club and own federation. I hope there is still some time there that you can offer to this cause. Or look for those, that are willing and can do and bring them on board.


You have doubts, concerns, dreams. Perfect! Please, share them, and do so in a constructive way. I have great ideas, but I would rather act on what is important for you. My task is not to bring my own dreams come true, unless they match that of the community.


I thank you, if you have been on board and you decided to stay. I thank you if you are only joining and want to be part of it. I applaud you, if you offer us your ideas, time, devotion and trust. I thank you, if you took the time to read this trough and you find your message within.


With this, I would like to wish all of you and your beloved ones Happy Christmas! May the New Year find you in joy and good health.


Stay Well!