Traditionally, every year our S.A.C.O.S association of inline hockey in France, which brings together French players aged 40 and over, holds an exhibition to raise the curtain on the French Inline Cup Final.
It’s an opportunity for our association to see and review all of the players in our sport once a year.
In 2007 Gilbert Portier, then Chairman of world roller hockey, had a long conversation with myself, where I asked him to think about creating a competition bringing together players aged 40 and over at the world level, which we could call MASTERS, complete with a World Championship and official recognition under FIRS. He found the idea interesting and that he would think about it. Knowing Gilbert very well, as I do, I suspected he would make the effort to explore the notion, but also I was aware that is would take some time to build.
In the spring of 2009, Gilbert and I met to discuss our World Competition. He told me that it was necessary to change the age in order to conform with the international standards in place (38 years plus), and if we changed the name of the competition to Masters World cup, it would allow us to operate autonomously within the FIRS structure. Without a pre-existing regulation for a World Cup, which remains our position to this day. Gilbert had also contacted our English friends who began with the prominent entrepreneur and prolific ice and inline hockey player PY Gerbeau. We proposed a trial edition « zero » in summer 2009. Gilbert Portier was present at this successful zero edition Caen, in the North of France.
At the culmination of this weekend in Caen, Gilbert Portier, PY Gerbeau, Alberto Lastrucci and I met and agreed together that the WORLD CUP MASTERS had been born, and should not stop.
Py Gerbeau proposed that the first official edition of the World Cup Masters be organized in Bisley, near London in 2010, Gilbert Portier was to validate it officially, and worked together to involve our Czech and Italian friends.
During the first years of this World Cup, Gilbert Portier, Alberto Lastrucci and P.Y Gerbeau worked tirelessly to maintain it and support its growth. I wish to extend my thanks to you gentlemen. Without you, this competition would probably not have lasted.
Eventually, Alberto Lastrucci replaced Gilbert Portier as Chairman of In Line Mondial. In this new role, Alberto remained a reliable support for this movement.
In 2015 Alberto Lastrucci asked David Ninzatti and myself (under the control of the F.I.R.S) to take over the complete organization of the World Cup, as he turned his focus to other concerns and was ready to move on.
This is where, with some pressure and motivation to carry on, we created, under the leadership of David Ninzatti, the Masters In Line Hockey World Association. Martin Mecera, our Czech friend joining us to finalize the launch of this association.
I would like to personally thank here the effort and the work, the commitment and the will of David Ninzatti, the President of MIHWA, to keep growing this World Cup, without him we would not be there, it is certain.
We could never have expected to arrive some 10 years later, in 2021 BAD TÖLZ, with a compliment of 14 nations at MASTERS and 10 at VETERANS level, thank you to those who work for this competition to continue.
We push back the passing years together.
MIHWA Vice President