Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The TBHF Is Losing the Trust of It's Members

Published  2/12/14  | National Teams of Ice Hockey
Revised 2/17/14, 2/20/14
By Keith McAdams

Over the years, the Turkish Ice Hockey Federation has lost the trust and faith of the clubs. There's been scandals over missing money; decisions to change the rules to favor teams owned or controlled by federation. The TBHF has failed to work for the common good of the teams and players. The TBHF has been vehicle for some elected officials to advance their personal wealth and social status at the expense of the development of hockey. Turkish ice hockey needs honest leadership to grow the sport. The TBHF must create a plan that inspires, teams, players and people. Turkey needs leaders who will rise above politics and embrace the development of hockey.
The TBHF needs to provide a vision and a solid leadership base going forward. There are many honest and noble hockey people in Turkey. There are many hard working federation members, manager, coaches and players in Turkey. The potential is here, for Turkey to become a great hockey country. Right now, Turkish Hockey needs someone to stand up and lead. It's time for the TBHF to become open and transparent. It's time to take the politics out of the federation and focus on development. It's time for the TBHF to give up their personal agendas and serve the clubs. The Federation is not there to just help Baskent, Millennium and Ismit! It's time for the clubs and players to demand a higher standards of service from the TBHF. If the TBHF will not do the job effectively, the clubs most vote them out of office. Hockey is falling apart in Turkey. Look what has happen to Baskent and Ankara University; they both won the Super League Championship and then close operations. The Super League started the season with only 3 teams. If actions are not taken soon, there will be no hockey left in Turkey. The Turkish Ice Hockey Federation is a business. The operation of clubs are a business. Both the TBHF and Clubs need to generate income and stand on their own two feet. But without a sound business and marketing plan the clubs will never be able to generate income. Over the past two year the Federation has done nothing to market hockey in Turkey. When you fail to market your sport five thing happen: 1. There is no money being generated for the national teams. 2. There are few if any sponsors. 3. Individual clubs close down. 4. Individual players can not earn an income. 5. Individual membership of player dwindle down. The TBHF and clubs must get together and create a ten year plan for the growth of hockey in Turkey. The TBHF has to think in terms of a 10 year plan. You can not operate the Federation on a monthly basis and be successful. The Federation only published their hockey schedule the first week in December; since then teams have folded and other have not shown up for games. The Super League has fallen apart. Teams on the U18 level have not showed up for games. There has not been a single U14, U12 or U10 game played in Turkey yet this season. Turkey will never be successful with this kind of mind set. The kids in Turkey are quitting hockey because there are no games. The failure to have a strategic plan has caused the decline of hockey in Turkey. The development of players need to be done over the course of five to ten year plan. As far as I know, only Erzurum is operating on a basis of more than a one year program in Turkey. Local clubs can not think long term because there is no stability in the TBHF. The league, rules and procedures change almost on a daily basis. The TBHF must publish schedule and rules a year in advance. In September the TBHF announce there would be no more financial support for teams. This resulted in many teams folding in Turkey. In Erzurum alone we lost eight youth clubs. The Federation forced Erzurum clubs to pay 90% of travel cost to participate in the league. Erzurum teams were only given one home weekend for the entire season, this made it impossible for clubs to participate in the upcoming season. Erzuurm has produced more youth national team players than almost every team combined in Turkey. But the Federation has done everything in their power to close teams down. It's believed by many people in hockey, this is being done because of the up coming elections. Four years ago the TBHF suspending GSK just before election. This again changes the dynamics of the vote for the elections. During this time period GSK bought to forefront there was questionable issues in the Federation accounts. This led to removal of the TBHF president in 2011. The TBHF need to do the following: 1. Publish a 10 year plan to develop hockey in the country. 2. Outline a plan how they will handle the short term problems facing clubs. 3. Publish business plan outlining how they will grow the sport. Have a financial plan in place to grow hockey at the club levels. 4. Provide financial incentives to teams that develop players for the national teams. 5. Publish a marketing plan for hockey. 6. Take politics out of the selection process for players for the National Team. 7. The TBHF must start developing tools to generate income and stop just relieving on just money from the government. 8. Do not just publish a budget; operate with in the budget. 9. Serve the clubs and the athletes; The athletes and clubs should not be serving the Federation. 10. Pay the money that is owed to clubs by the Federation. 11. Create a three tier system that emphasis youth development. Notes:

South Africa won the 2014 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship Division III Group Ismit Turkey. It was a disappointing 2-1 loss for Turkey.

Final Ranking:
1. South Africa 6
2. Turkey 3
3. Hong Kong

 Ahmet Hars from Erzurum Turkey

Individual Awards as selected by the Tournament Directorate
Best Goalkeeper: Charl Pretorius
Best Defenceman: Jonas Hanley Mak
Best Forward: Ahmet Hars

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