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Interview with Pasi Aho, co-owner of Fun-Sports


Interview

News: How long has Fun-Sports existed as a company and why did the founder start a company in the minigolf industry?

PA :Well, the company has existed since 1991 but regarding the reasons I had to ask the founder, Gerhard Zimmermann, who said: "Winning a lot of national and international titles in minigolf I was simply infected by this great sport and I also saw the high potential of minigolf as a leisure activity to have fun. So the company was named FUN-SPORTS. My feelings for minigolf were quite enormous, so much so that I decided to change from my former profession as a pharmacist to start up a minigolf business and to give some of these values back, which I was allowed to get during my time as player and head coach in different countries."



News: What product ranges do you offer?

PA :We offer different kinds of minigolf courses and other games which complete the product mix at a minigolf course. We also offer minigolf equipment for competitive players, hobby players and course owners who need to equip their courses - so we are there for anyone playing minigolf!


InterviewNews : Do you produce and sell your own products only, or do you also distribute other brands?

PA :We are not producing anything directly in Bamberg, but we have close partners in miniaturegolf, feltgolf and adventuregolf course production as well as in ball production, so we can influence the details just like we want. We distribute only our own house brand and products of 3D-Minigolf, for whom we are the worldwide general distributor.



News: Why should I buy a minigolf course or other products from your company?

PA :We believe to have good quality for fair prices and good service from the very first contact all the way to the after sales-service. Our course customers are very satisfied and seem to appreciate especially the good installation work from the first day all the way to the small details on the last installation day. It looks like there is more than one best company on the market. ;-)



News :Gerhard Zimmermann, founder and still owner of Fun-Sports was a successful player. You are still playing and coaching. Does this influence your work in the company in a positive way?

PA :Yes, I believe so. Due to active playing and coaching I can keep up the contact with the sport and minigolf in general and believe to understand well what kind of things and details make a good course and what is going on on the equipment front. I am an open-minded person who still after more than 20 years in the game wants to learn more about everything in minigolf.



News :Youth officer.....understands young people... trends....how does Fun-Sports support the idea of getting new players on the courses?

PA :We are supporting many clubs, projects and even federations with special offers when it comes to providing equipment. We are always open to requests for this kind of ideas as long as they are realistic. But I always say that the new players can be found only on the grass-root level in the clubs and so for the past five years we have organised a minigolf school on one of our own courses during the summer holidays. It still is great fun to spend those days with the kids on the course in the middle of all that regular work! With them you really see how much fun minigolf can be!



Interview



News : Sponsoring. Why? How?

PA :Since me and Gerd are both involved in the work of the WMF and each of us additionally in one national federation - one big and one small - we of course understand the signifigance of sponsoring and are willing to support the sport, because it has given us both so much in our lives. Sponsoring today is not only giving money. Bigger sports understood this a long time ago. Sometimes I have the feeling that minigolf still has space for improvement. Sponsoring is more of a co-operation today, where both parts need to profit from it. The minigolf industry and its contacts are the key to spreading minigolf worldwide. So it would be advisable for the WMF to handle minigolf companies not only as sponsoring bodies, but as partners with a common goal and to listen to their input and cooperation offers.



News :. How do you see the future of minigolf sport?

PA :Minigolf sport today is much more than what it was 20 or even 10 years ago. It is about finding new players, clubs and also going to new countries. At the same time it is about keeping the old players. To find the balance between these is not easy. There are so many more possibilities today, but taking advantage of them requires a great amount of work, because there are also more challenges. Those people, clubs and federations who actively participate in the sport spend great amounts of time and money for it. They must also receive quality in exchange for their input, not only quantity. It makes for example no sense to just organise a tournament somewhere, if the framework around it is not good and the requirements and needs of the participants cannot be met.



News: Thank you for that Interview!



Interview by Willy Bauer
Photos by Fun-Sports



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