AMF secretary general: interview with Bruno Gerstner
13 May 2014 at 13:26 | Published by: Hans | Views: 8602 | News search
Bruno Gerstner and his courses in Hechuan, China (Photo by Peyman Seifi 2014)
This interview was made by the AMF Media and marketing committee member: Peyman Seifi
Peyman: First of all, thank you for your time to the interview with AMF newsletter. We noticed a new Minigolf course built in China. Please give us more information.
Bruno: It is not one course but it is a plant. On that plant are 3 courses: one Miniaturegolf, one Feltgolf and a MOS-course. The area is located within the University of Hechuan which is a district of the city of Chongqing. There is the university for foreign Trade in which the plant is located. But there is free access also for everyone and not only for students of this university.
There are nine universities in that city.
Peyman: what were reasons for building this course?
Bruno: First we needed urgently a sample of Miniaturegolf and Feltgolf to introduce this kind of sports and leisure-time activity to the Chinese people. If you want to introduce Minigolf you can talk and explain much, but everybody will ask you: "Where can I see it? Where can I play it?" So after several years of trying we finally found in Mr. William He a person, which takes the project serious and developed this area. This first plant is a private investment even there is also support from that university which gave the land to him. We need to show to the government (which is holding all the land in China) a sample and that Chinese people are interested in this sports and activity. Then we can get more easy other places to build more courses and spread Minigolf within China.
The second reason is, that we have to start with the first step to move forward with the development of our sports in China. We found a honest and ambitioned partner with the person of William He. William has developed also ideas for the operation, the marketing and promotion of Minigolf within China. He uses modern technics to spread the idea and the knowledge. Mainly mobile-phones. For example can every player can check by his mobile-phone his own and other members results of any rounds which a member ever played. Facebook or other similar western applications are not possible to access in China. But here we use "weixin" which is something very similar to Facebook and in there can players and operators of Minigolf-courses publish news and photos or comments. The knowledge about Minigolf will be spread very quickly by this way.
The third reason are commercial interests. Why to deny this? There is no Minigolf-course in this world which has no commercial interests. The preconditions at this place are ideal: the students which are counting to several 10.000s in Hechuan are a great potential of players and sports-(wo)men.
Peyman: Whatís your plan for future for this course?
» Link to the interview in original on the AMF website
Bruno: This plant is the corner-stone of Minigolfsports in China. It will be the training-base for players of the national teams including the Chinese National Minigolfteam and for trainers and referees in China and maybe in Asia. Hechuan will become the "capital" of Minigolfsports in China. Like Bad Munder in Germany we want to make Hechuan famous for this sports. End of June are intensive-trainings for players planned which will become the representatives of China at the Asian-championships in November 2014 in Kish Island. We already got the agreement of a world-class-player and a famous trainer from Europe to hold this training. Also players from other membership-nations of the AMF are welcome to this training.
Peyman: Let us to know about AMF. Whatís the main plan for AMF in 2014 and 2015?
Bruno: At this moment we are still a "small light" within the WMF. We want to strengthen our position within the WMF. The European Federation which is the majority in the WMF should realize, that the "eastern little brother" learns now how to walk by himself.
We wish to become competitors and wish to get rid of the label of just to be "victims" which have not any chance against the skilled and well-trained/playing European teams. This will need some time of course, engaged players and officials, support from government and some support also from WMF-and WMF-members side. But I am sure we will get this support.
As I told before: we already got the agreement to have support from world-class-players and trainers to share their experience with us "newcomers". Each member of the AMF just should ask for that. Of course there should be first a Miniature- or Feltgolf-course approved by the AMF/WMF.
In my opinion we have to encourage some newer nations for more self confidence. We can show up to the "big brother" only, if we stand together and will appear as an independent, effective, strong and serious but loyal partner within the WMF.
The WMF treats us equal as any member. This starts with the ideally, technical and financial support which the WMF offers to members. There is financial support for some projects within our membership-nations. As far as I know did none of the AMF-members ever applied for such a support. I just ask myself why this never happened. We have some really active players and officials: for example does everybody in the WMF knows Yuki and in Taiwan is a players team and also ambitioned board-members. But we need to "encourage" the responsible persons in every country. We all have the same goal!
Peyman: We know the AMF has a good board and seems very efficient relationships between board members. Tell us more about collaboration and sharing responsibilities between board members.
Bruno: In my opinion we did good progress within the AMF during the last 2 years. Even we did still not reached the optimum but we are working on that! There are difficulties based on different cultures and big distances. Mainly because of the big distances we meet very seldom in person and face to face. Knowing each others better would help and would accelerate our growing-together. We can not change the map but we can use more the possibilities of modern communication to compensate our disadvantages.
But as you know: each coin has 2 sides! The AMF covers the areal of the biggest world's population! And one day the AMF should have the most Minigolfplayers of any continental federation within the WMF.
Peyman: Thank you Bruno for your time. And the last remark?
Bruno: Let's make the Asian Championships on Kish Island become a milestone for the AMF and CMF! Thanks to William for the great efforts and support which he did to the Chinese Minigolfsport Federation and by that way also to the AMF!