In this article series called "Close-up", we take a closer look at the sport's competitors. We want to raise the profiles in the sport, what their everyday life in the sport looks like, their best memories and what they think about the future of the sport.
Today we talk with Lasse Brincner, Chairman of the Swedish Horseshoe Pitching Association from Växjö HSK.
“Sweden's first competition at Verkö IP in Karlskrona was decided with 100 participants, completely unbelievable!”
Can you tell us briefly about your background and the qualifications that led you to become chairman of the Swedish Horseshoe Pitching Association?
It started for me in July 1993. My father Göran read in a repotage in the Expressen about Sweden's happiest national team after participating in the World Cup in Italy in 1993.
First Saturday in September, Sweden's first competition at Verkö IP in Karlskrona was decided with 100 participants, completely unbelievable!
Växjö HSK was formed in my garden under the direction of SMP (Smålandsposten), the local newspaper and journalist H O Lundmark. Well, I have to mention them competitors also from the first competition, we are three who are still pitching, Kent Sundahl in Carlskrona HSC, Bertil Westergren, Växjö HSK and myself. The Swedish Horseshoe Pitching Association was founded in Lessebo in 1996. In 3 years, Horseshoe pitching in Sweden celebrate 30 years, absolutely incredible! Yes, has saved all results lists since 1993!
So Lasse, now that we have warmed up a bit, can you give us some memorable milestones around the sport?
Okay, will try...
In Sweden we have arranged the World Cup in Ronneby. A very nice competition, Sweden cup on Saturday and the World Cup on Sunday. We participated with two national teams, one A team and one Women national team. The sport at that time existed in Italy, Poland, Lithuania, France (Corsica), Belgium, Senegal and in Sweden.
The outdoor SM was first organized in 1996 in the Ronneby Brunn Parken. A difficult record comes from the outdoors SM 1998 which was arranged by Torsås HSK, 198 participants 37 teams participated.
It's been 3 trips down to Italy. 2 times by train, and once we flew a bunch down to Nice from Landvetter. We stayed in the Diano Marino, the Italian flowers riviera.
A successful thing was when I and Göran and Bertil went down to Peo and Inge Jalkestam in Karlskrona. There we laid out plans for series games with doubles and singles. 1995-96 the first edition was decided. Then it has rolled on.
Can you tell us a little about your everyday work in the sport?
My job with horseshoe pitching is almost every day with websites, 2 clubs. Facebook and statistics. Participates in training once a week and participates in all competitions. Yes, I can do it all thanks to Armin, my employer, he himself a fantastic horseshoe pitcher. Without training, he surely belongs to Sweden's top ten pitchers if he competed more.
"What the hell, I shouldn't go down to Italy for 18 hours to become 12th?".
What is your best horseshoe memory?
My best memory of course is the World Cup in Italy, I was in 12th place before the last round. I went and pepped myself up, "What the hell, I shouldn't go down to Italy for 18 hours to become 12th?". And what did I do then? Well I threw 80p and went up to silver place only beaten by Oscar Zuopardi a 12 year old boy!
How do you see the future of horseshoe pitching in Sweden?
Something fantastic happened for this year's season. We got a new Stockholm club, Vaxholm HSK. This year they play in div 2 and the matches are played via a video link. Incredible! Next year they may be two teams in the series game with the new Balders HSK from Norrtälje. I have to say, what wonderful guys and friends we got in Stockholm. I think with Kristian and Pascal we have saved the sport and I am absolutely convinced that there will be more. I have always preached and said that we must get more active players to spread the sport.
What else do you think can be done to spread the sport?
We must take care of the young players we have today. So that new clubs are formed and that we can expand the sport and make it even more attractive.
It is also very important that we have today found a sponsor that makes it possible to market us, as well as secure supplies of materials.
"What makes me the happiest is when a pitcher shows up in a club. I get so happy, and then I think, hope he or she likes this sport and feels welcome in the horseshoe pitching family."
Four quick questions:
* Idol in the sport? - Sandor Bodi
* Merits? - World Cup silver medal from -96, 2x100 points!
* Best series? - 25 throws. 310P , 50 throws. 455p
* Motto? - "Never give up, you always have 100 in hand when you start"
Finally, who do you think will make its big breakthrough this year?
Must mention Björn Landberg (Waxholm HSK), there is talent for something big with more competition routine. So damn impressed that he already had such great successes in class 4 and in the series game.