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21.11.2014, 09:00
Mother becomes master of organisation
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INTERVIEW: German international Katja Schülke is combining preparations for the Women’s EHF EURO 2014 in Hungary and Croatia with the job of bringing up her young son
 

Mother becomes master of organisation

She is 30 years old, a key player for the German women’s national team and announced her pregnancy last year.

Then, on 19 December 2013, goalkeeper Katja Schülke gave birth to a boy, calling him Lasse Hans.

Just about two months ago she returned to the German national team in September's test against Switzerland and now she is among the 19 players selected by national team coach Heine Jensen for the preparations en route to the Women’s EHF EURO 2014 in Hungary and Croatia.

And she has had to become a 'master of organisation' in order to be part of the EHF EURO 2014 squad, as she reveals in this interview with ehf-euro.com.

ehf-euro.com: Katja Schülke, what is your secret to a happy life at home with your son as well as on the court with HC Leipzig?
Katja Schülke: "A good friend of mine, who lives in Leipzig, takes care of my son, as my boyfriend Lars also has a full-time job. It is highly important for us to have those helping hands around us, with our families as well, of course.

Unfortunately my parents live quite far away from Leipzig. But in the end it is just a matter of organisation. We have to plan everything in advance to find out who is where at what time. Every day is completely structured, so it is really hard for me if the coach changes the training times or a match is rescheduled.

ehf-euro.com: Was it always clear for you that you would return to professional handball after giving birth to your son?
Schülke: No question, I was eager to return. It was just a matter of time. Never in my career have I had a long-term injury, so it was a very strange situation for me to be without handball for such a long period of more than a year. And when the time for my comeback arrived, I was highly motivated to reach my previous level as soon as possible.

ehf-euro.com: Should we expect Lasse Hans to become a handball player like you?
Schülke: I can’t predict that at all. We have a guitar and a piano in our flat and his father is a former wrestler.

ehf-euro.com: Now EHF EURO 2014 is just around the corner and, including training camp, you will be away from home for more than a month, who will help you handle that situation?
Schülke: Both Grandmas have taken holiday for this time. We have a very structured plan for everything, which might happen. The worst thing is to be away from my son for this long period.

ehf-euro.com: Have you set a certain goal for yourselves and your team at EHF EURO 2014?
Schülke: Like in the past, we want to go step by step. First we focus on our preliminary round, then we carry on.

Of course we have a strong team, but you never know what happens, sometimes the smallest things decide the outcome, so we are humble in setting our goals. I think getting one step closer to the Olympic Games in Rio is a nice goal to have."

With team captain Isabell Klein there had actually been a second young mother in the German team, but Klein broke her foot in an EHF Cup match last weekend and has already undergone the necessary operation.

The injury that Klein, the wife of THW Kiel player Dominik, will not be able to participate in the Women’s EHF EURO 2014.

Germany have been drawn to Group C in which they will meet co-hosts Croatia, Sweden and Netherlands. The matches take place in Varazdin, Croatia.


TEXT: Björn Pazen / jh / ts
 
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