New AMF President: Interview with Arash Pooyanmehr
05 Dec 2012 at 20:47 | Published by: Hans | Views: 8210 | News search
Arash Pooyanmehr while visiting the WC in Stockholm (Photo by Arash Pooyanmehr 2011)
Interview with Arash Pooyanmehr (AP), Iran and the Asia Minigolf Sport Federation
This interview was done the 5th of December 2012. The Interviewer is Hans Bergström (HB).
HB: First of all thank you for letting Minigolfnews interview you about your work in Iran and your new position as President in AMF. Can you first tell us a little bit about who is Arash Pooyanmehr?
AP: It is my pleasure to talk to you and worldwide Minigolf friends via www.minigolfnews.com.
I was born in Abadan, a city in the south-west of Iran in 1970. One week after the war between Iran and Iraq started (1980-1988), I left my home town with the family and moved to Tehran, my father’s home town and the capital of Iran. I grew up in the war conditions and the memories of war atmosphere are still very bitter to me.
After graduation from university and passing many extra courses in computer since, I started my job as a computer teacher and a software developer in Abadan refinery in 1994. Then, after cooperation with several big companies as computer graphic designer and advertising consultant, FARASSOU advertising agency, my own company was established in 1995.
I started my cooperation with Iran sport organization and sport federations from 2002 as a sponsor. Snow ski, grass ski, wrestling, badminton, golf, futsal and … were sports that we worked with them as sponsor.
In 2006, I got an offer to cooperate with Iran Minigolf society as volunteer president. Minigolf in Iran was only as some crazy golf courses, without any administration structure and international relations. I made contact with WMF for membership and changed the situation in Iran’s Minigolf. Iran was accepted as an active member since 2008.
I’m sorry for prolongation of my biography.
HB: Recently you were elected as the new President of AMF after being the Secretary General for two years. Can you tell us a bit about the work done in AMF and what challenges you have for the future?
AP: When I was elected as secretary general in China 2010, the relations between Asian countries were very weak. My first mission was improving these relations and then, preparing a structure to build a powerful continental federation. I got many helps from my friends in WMF and AMF as well. I arranged AMF extra ordinary delegate’s conference in Stockholm, Sweden on 22 Aug. 2011and we got new decisions in cooperation with Dr. Gerhard Zimmermann as new WMF president.
Then, we could publish AMF website, also, by WMF president supports, some changes prepared for 2012 AMF delegate conference. When I take a look back now, it seems that the relations between AMF members and AMF – WMF cooperation have been better.
HB: What will be your main goals for AMF under your leadership for the coming two years?
AP: My friends always tell me: you have high ambitions in your works!!! (LOL) I think half of this MOTTO!! Is joke but the second part is true.
My main goals are:
1. Strengthen AMF structure as the biggest worldwide continent.
2. Extending AMF members from 7 countries. It is very difficult to convince countries for a new sport that will need a new organization.
3. Increasing AMF budget and Minigolf players.
4. Declaring AMF legal seat ASAP.
5. Improving Minigolf courses in Asia especially in Iran.
6. Investing on youth players.
7. Extending media, marketing and advertising activities for AMF.
HB: Who will take the AMF seat in the WMF Board?
AP: Mr. Andre Savare as AMF financial manager is our representative in WMF, like past years. As you know, he lives in Thailand and Switzerland (in the part of year). So, he is very close to the venue of WMF board meeting and can arrange to participate easily.
HB: The delegates conference was held in Chiang Mai, Thailand on the 21st of November the day before the Asian Open Championships was held on the same location. Can you tell us about what it was like visiting Thailand for the sake of Minigolf and how the arrangements around the Asian Open Championships where?
AP: If I noticed well by your question, Thailand was selected to hold Asian open championships 2012 in AMF delegate conference 2010 in China.
Thailand had an experience in 2008 and they are very diligent on their works. I think it was good competitions but it could be better as a sport event.
HB: Are you playing Minigolf yourself?
AP: OH… this is a very difficult question!! (LOL)
Sometimes, I play just at home with a home version putting green and I think it’s enough to play Minigolf as AMF president!!!!! (LOL)
Unfortunately I do not have enough time to play Minigolf, also, we have not good Minigolf courses in Tehran, but I’m trying to made several lanes of Miniature system out of wood to play with friends just for hobby in next weeks.
It would be amazing for you that we played in Chiang Mai during the past event with Mr. Bruno Gerstner (AMF secretary general) and another Chinese friend that I think it was first time for him to see concrete system. He got the first place with 46 total, Bruno was second with 56 and I got BRONZE medal with 66!!!!!!! Do you know any coach to train me?!!!
HB: Can you tell us about the development of the sport in your home country Iran?
AP: As you know, Iran has a big young population in the west of Asia. Many of them are involved with sports. Football, wrestling, power lifting, basketball, volleyball and much kind of sports.
For your information, in London 2012 Olympic, Iran had the 17th rank that was very graceful. But honestly, I should say the Iranian athletes are successful in individual sports rather than team sports.
HB: The 2014 Asian Open Championships is planned to be played in Kish Island, Iran. Can you tell us about the preparations for this, how the courses and facilities will be and maybe a bit about the Kish Island itself?
AP: Of course, gladly.
The Kish Island as a free zone is located in south of Iran, the Persian gulf. It is a very beautiful Island with more than 2000 year history.
I got this info from Wikipedia: Kish Island was ranked among the world’s 10 most beautiful islands by The New York Times in 2010, and is the fourth most visited vacation destination in Southwest Asia after Dubai, U.A.E, and Sharm el-Sheikh. Foreign nationals wishing to enter Kish Free Zone from legal ports are not required to obtain visas prior to travel. Valid travel permits are stamped for 14 days by airport and Kish port police officials.
Now, Kish Island has a MOS course located in Kish Olympic stadium with 18 holes, built on 2009.
I had a trip over there in last October and met Kish sport organization manager. He was very interested to hold 2014 Asian open championships and he told me that they are ready for this event.
Kish Island is very close to Dubai, 30 minutes by flight! Kish Island has more than 40 hotels from 2 stars to 5 stars and much more villas and resorts.
I’m trying to hold Persian Gulf Minigolf cup in Kish Island before Asian open championships 2014 to cooperation with WMF.
HB: Do you know which of the AMF nations that will likely be present at the next World Championships in Bad Munder, Germany?
AP: I’m eager that Iran will be one of them. In my eyes, Japan is very interested in participating and then Taiwan and China are the next choices.
HB: What will be the next event for you in Minigolf?
AP: I got two invitations from China and India in Chiang Mai.
Mr. Zheng from China invited me to opening ceremony for MOS course in the January 2013 and Mr. Pravin from India invited to a Minigolf presentation conference in India in the next February as well.
HB: Thank you very much and Good Luck with your work as the new AMF President!
AP: Thank you so much too for this interview and also thanks to the viewer of www.minigolfnews.com for reading this interview.
On behalf of AMF board members and as newly elected AMF president, I wish you and worldwide Minigolf fans good luck and happy days to come.