Part of team fees is donated to the Christmas Seal Foundation and its projects
Danish national teams support children in need
The Danish men's and women's national handball teams have started a close co-operation with the Christmas Seal Foundation - a Danish charity responsible for immediate support for children in need.
This co-operation was announced at a press conference in Aarhus just ahead of the Golden League tournament at which the women's team (pictured) faces France, Russia and Norway this weekend (5 to 7 October).
"Players of both national teams, their professional association – the Handball Players’ Association - as well as the Danish Handball Association have found it quite logical and relevant to work together with The Christmas Seal Foundation based on the common values between the two organisations such as the need for children to be living an active and healthy life with lots of sport and nourishing food,” says Henrik Jacobsen, director of the Danish Handball Federation.
First Christmas Seal houses opened 100 years ago providing aid for malnourished children. Since 1976 the focus shifted and the organisation now takes care of overweight children with psychological as well as social difficulties. Every year the Christmas Seal Foundation helps about 700 children.
"Unfortunately we celebrate our 100th anniversary by having the longest waiting list ever with children waiting up to 15 months to get help," says Søren Ravn Jensen, director of the Christmas Seal Foundation.
"Today the majority of children are overweight. But obesity is not alone. The vast majority of children are bullied and disenfranchised and many of them have never had a friend. The children have no faith in themselves and live isolated and unhappy lives."
The Danish national teams will donate a percentage of their team fee to this specific charity and want to become ambassadors for the foundation's case and raise the public's awareness about the problem of childrens' obesity.
"For us players on the Danish handball team, it is important to come up with a message that a healthy diet and exercise are important elements in creating a good life," says Ann Grete Norgaard, left wing in the women's team and deputy director of the Handball Players' Association.
"And it is also essential that the rest of the nation gets to know us not just as athletes but also as socially responsible young people who have the courage and desire to direct the attention of the Danish population to a serious social problem for which we all have a responsibility."
TEXT: Finn T. Jensen (DHF) / ts