(European Union Recreational and Oldtimers Hockey Association)
By Milos SLUGA,
Member of CARHA Hockey Hall of Fame at 2004 in International Friends Category,
The founding meeting of the European Recreational and Oldtimers’ Hockey Association EUROHA took place in Riga April 30th. During this significant gathering representatives of Latvian, Russian, Slovenian and Scandinavian hockey oldtimers agreed upon the establishment of an association and further active cooperation. The World Hockey Tournament for Recreational and Oldtimers’ Teams Amber Cup 2014 has brought about 1000 hockey oldtimers to Riga this week.
Among the participants of the founding meeting of the European Recreational and Oldtimers’ Hockey Association was Bjorn Aberg, president of the Swedish Oldtimers' Hockey Association SOHA, Kare Ostensen, president of the Norwegian Oldtimers' Hockey Association NOHA, Miloš Sluga, General secretary of Slovenian Oldtimers' Hockey Association and Vladimir Ovchinnikov, director of the Russian Sports Management agency SPORTVETERAN, as well as representatives of Latvian hockey oldtimers - Uldis Opits, chairman of the Latvian Hockey Federation Oldtimers’ Committee and president of the Latvian Hockey Oldtimers' Foundation VECMEISTARI; Normunds Kupcis, representative of the Latvian Oldtimers' Hockey Association and Aleksands Mihailovs, representative of VALMIERA Oldtimers' Hockey Club, Latvia.
During the gathering, MILOŠ SLUGA, General secretary of the Slovenian Oldtimers' Hockey Association, who is also the European representative of the Canadian Recreational and Oldtimers’ Hockey Association CARHA , gave an overview of the foundation history of the European Oldtimers’ Hockey Association, as well as the previous work of the National associations and the prospective tasks of EUROHA in the future. Specific reference was made to the lack of sufficient support to hockey oldtimers from the part of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) and the need to initiate the registration of the oldtimers’ playing rules with the IIHF as soon as possible. The present SOHA and NOHA presidents supported the establishment of the association, while expressing a proposal to postpone the establishment of the association and to convene the next meeting of the hockey oldtimers’ representatives in the following year. After the voting of the representatives, a majority ruled in the foundation of the European Recreational and Oldtimers’ Hockey Association EUROHA without delay, and elected the Board of the Association consisting of 3 people.
Normunds Kupcis, Milos Sluga and Vladimir Ovchinnikov were elected to the Board of the European Recreational and Oldtimers’ Hockey Association EUROHA, who from their midst elected the Latvian representative Normunds Kupcis as the President of EUROHA, while as the Secretary-General of the Association - the Slovenian representative Milos Sluga. The lawyer Janis Birzulis was appointed as the auditor of the Association, and his further responsibilities include the legal registration of the Association in Riga.
The leaders of the Swedish and Norwegian Oldtimers’ hockey associations congratulated the founders and expressed confidence in a successful further cooperation of the newly founded Association with National hockey oldtimers’ associations and Oldtimers’ committees of the National hockey federations of other countries, including the need to cooperate with the Finnish Hockey Oldtimers’ Association FOHA. Similar intentions to encourage Russian hockey oldtimers to participate in the newly established EUROHA were also expressed by Vladimir Ovchinnikov.
World Hockey Tournament for Recreational and Oldtimers’ Teams Amber Cup Riga 2014 is taking place in Riga from April 29th to May 4th, at seven Riga and surrounding ice arenas bringing together 56 teams from 10 countries. During the five days of the tournament, a total of 162 hockey matches will be played.