“Once a year, my ‘things to do’ list includes an item of some great importance to me: a presentation for the HMBIA Captains Summit. I put the presentation ahead of the summit itself in terms of priority, not because I think the Development Committee is more important than the Summit, but because if it’s not impressive, I look about as much use as a halberd made of glass.
My activities in the Development Committee are largely internal, and although some can be of huge importance to the entire movement, they are seldom of interest to the national teams and their captains. Such is the existence of the Committee: the less people hear about us, the fewer problems there are to see, and the better we’re doing our jobs. So how can I make my presentation relevant and interesting for everybody? I just keep it brief. We are problem solvers. We are critical analysts. We are the unpopular people who look at the successes of projects and find all of the faults with them. But we don’t just criticise; our aim is to first point out the faults and shortcomings and subsequently propose solutions which will be beneficial to the teams, the movement, and the public image of HMBIA.
To cut a long story short, my three proposals for next year were to a) continue development of WMFC First Class tournaments (which I have played a central role in this year) following certain criteria; b) revamp the websites so they are more functional and serve more of a purpose to the movement than what social media provide us with; and c) an internal restructure of the HMBIA office and members to improve efficiency, working practices, and the role of HMBIA for national teams. These projects will be carried out with working groups, and I’m very happy to be once again working with my most trusted colleague Ivan Koryagin (who is also the head of the Tournament Committee). We cast the same critical eye on practices and share a vision on how things should be functioning and how they can be improved. Working across cultures can be both beneficial and detrimental to projects, but although Ivan and I come from quite different cultures, we work efficiently together – he is the example of a true professional and is an asset to HMBIA. I’m also very honoured to be in a working group with Edouard Eme, the French captain; he too is the essence of professionalism and has a wealth of knowledge regarding national structures and governing bodies within sports sectors all over the world, so with such a person, of course we can afford to be ambitious with our work.
I think the summit was largely successful. We do need to improve communication throughout the year so that we are on the same page with our vision for the future, and we make decisions on ideas that came up during the year, rather than the summit becoming a brainstorming session for wild ideas which are borderline impractical. But that is our responsibility – we are incredibly lucky to have such talented individuals in our movement, and what I really want us to do is get the most out of the resources we have. The more we actively involve all members of our movement, the closer our connection will be, and this will ultimately lead to the realisation of projects that not so long ago were nothing more than distant dreams. It’s up to us to make 2017 a big year for HMB – there’s no time for complacency, and I wouldn’t want to miss a moment of it”.