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22.10.2015, 09:44
Sweden 2016 names EHF EURO ambassadors
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NEWS REPORT: An impressive list of handball players will represent and promote the five host cities and the hosting nation in the lead-up to next year's championship - including an EHF EURO MVP
 

Sweden 2016 names EHF EURO ambassadors

Together they have played almost 500 times for the Swedish national team, scoring more than 1,400 goals along the way.

The list of ambassadors that have been announced by the organising committee of next year's championship is truly an impressive. Starting with Nathalie Hagman as the ambassador for Stockholm, Linnea Torstensson for Kristianstad, Sabina Jacobsen for Malmö, Therese Wallter for Helsingborg and Loui Sand for Gothenburg, it all peaked on Wednesday when Women's EHF EURO 2014 MVP Isabelle Gulldén was revealed as the tournament's national ambassador.

"Bella Gulldén is a real star and one of the leaders of the national team with important roles both in attack and defence. Furthermore she has taken on a great responsibility for promoting handball, inviting and inspiring her fans, in particular on social media," says EHF EURO 2016 marketing manager Matilda Boson, herself a former international and EHF EURO 2010 silver medallist. "We are looking forward to cooperating with her to keep spreading the word of handball."

"It feels amazing to be a national ambassador. An EHF EURO on home courts is a fantastistic opportunity to get new people to watch and try handball," says Gulldén, who also loves the championship's slogan 'Pure heart. All hands.'

"I think it is perfect. It shows the contrasting aspects in handball. I'm not sure there is any other sport where you have to be so tough and so technical at the same time. To achieve something in handball you need to have both a passionate heart and a skillful hand."

Just as Boson, Gulldén was part of the Swedish team that won silver at the EHF EURO 2010 in Denmark and Norway - their first medal in EHF EURO history, which was followed by a bronze medal last December at the EHF EURO 2014.

"The Norwegians, Danes and Swedes created an awesome atmosphere (in 2010)! It felt almost like a home court and gave our team many big energy boosts. I hope the Scandinavians can create that kind of atmosphere at Sweden 2016 as well," says Gulldén.

Coincidentally it will be not all smiles between the ambassadors next weekend, as Gulldén and her club CSM Bucuresti face IK Sävehof - and hence Loui Sand - in the Women's EHF Champions League.

Bucuresti's Swedish left back Linnea Torstenson - the third ambassador in this mix - will not be able to play because of a knee injury.

The ambassadors for the Women's EHF EURO 2016 in Sweden

Bella Gulldén - national ambassador
Centre back Isabelle Gulldén is one of the key players in the Swedish national team. She was already part of the squad that won silver at the EHF EURO 2010 and was even more instrumental in December 2014 when she led her team to an EHF EURO bronze medal and was also awarded the tournament's MVP. Since the beginning of the 2015/16 season she plays for CSM Bucuresti in Romania.

Nathalie Hagman - Stockholm ambassador
The artistic right winger, who scored 15 goals for her Danish club Team Tvis Holsterbro in the first leg of the EHF Cup Final against Russian side Rostov-Don last season, was born and raised in the Swedish capital, where Sweden will play the group matches of at 2016 championship.

Linnea Torstenson - Kristianstad ambassador
The strong left back was voted MVP at the EHF EURO 2010 in Norway and Denmark where the Swedish women's national team won silver, their first championship medal ever. Her coach at CSM Bucharesti, Kim Rasmussen, is also coaching Poland's national team, which will play their group matches in Kristianstad if they qualify for the championship.

Sabina Jacobsen - Malmö ambassador
Malmö will be the Danish team' home during the group stage, if they will qualify. So who would fit better as the city's ambassadour than Sabina Jacobsen. The Swedish team captain has a Danish mother and became Danish champion with FC Midtjylland in the 2014/15 season.

Therese Wallter - Helsingborg ambassador
The former national team lien player started and ended her playing career in Helsingborg. Now she is marketing manager of the beach handball tournament 'OV Beachhandboll' in her home town. If EHF EURO champions Norway qualify, they will play the group stage and potentially also the main round in Helsingborg. If Denmark reach the main round, it will come to a 'Scandinavian battle' in Helsingborg.

Loui Sand - Gothenburg ambassador
The Swedish national team is full of players that have represented IK Sävehof in the EHF Champions League -and many of them have generated interest from foreign clubs. But the entertaining left winger Loui Sand has chosen to stay in Sävehof and her home town Gothenburg. At the EURO Gothenburg will host Main Round Group I (Sweden's group, if they qualify for this stage), the semi-finals and the final.


TEXT: Sweden 2016 OC / ts
 
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