In the first contested board election in many years two different groups competed for votes and the list of Klaus Hartmann received 133 against the 121 votes of the old leadership of Gernot Mittendorfer in what some Austrian media outlets called a palace revolution.
The board now includes Hartmann as President and the three Vice Presidents Nicolas Stockhammer, Gunther Ropatsch and Yasmin Sarina Stepina.
“Our slogan was ‘include instead of exclude’ and that’s what we want to do the next four years,” Hartmann said. “The entire Austrian ice hockey family is important to us, kids, veterans, para ice hockey, high-performance and amateur sport. We will have talks with everybody who wants to contribute towards Austrian ice hockey and who wants to lead our ice hockey into a successful future.
“Every kid, no matter at which performance level, shall have the possibility to play ice hockey. With recruiting concepts we want to bring more kids to ice hockey.
“Of course it’s also a big wish of us to join the best ice hockey nations in the world and to play again in the top division with the women and men. A concern of our hearts is the federal high-performance centre in Villach and we hope that we can realize it as quickly as possible. In the next few weeks it will be important for the sport of ice hockey to return to ordinary league operations after the coronavirus-induced break.”
Hartmann previously served as Vice President of the ice hockey association of the state of Carinthia and comes from the finance services and insurance industry. He ends the term of Mittendorfer, who was elected in 2016 to succeed Dieter Kalt after heading the OEHV for 20 years.
With Yasmin Sarina Stepina (nee Weiss) a former Austrian national team player and current coach became the first female member of the OEHV’s board.