«oct 2018»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
2930311234
567891011
«nov 2018»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
2930311234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728293012
3456789
«dec 2018»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
262728293012
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31123456
«jan 2019»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
31123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031123
45678910
«feb 2019»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
28293031123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728123
45678910
«mar 2019»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
25262728123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031
1234567
«apr 2019»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293012345
6789101112
«may 2019»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
293012345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
272829303112
3456789
«jun 2019»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
272829303112
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
1234567
«jul 2019»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
2930311234
567891011
«aug 2019»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
2930311234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
2627282930311
2345678
«sep 2019»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
2627282930311
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30123456
AlbaniaAndorraArmeniaAustriaAzerbaijanBelgiumBosnia HerzegovinaBelarusBulgariaCroatiaCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkSpainEstoniaFaroe IslandsFinlandFranceGreat BritainGeorgiaGermanyGreeceHungaryIrelandIcelandIsraelItalyKosovoLatviaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMoldovaFYR MacedoniaMaltaMontenegroMonacoNetherlandsNorwayPolandPortugalRomaniaRussiaSloveniaSerbiaSwitzerlandSlovakiaSwedenTurkeyUkraine
 
EnglandScotland
Other EHF Sites 

17.02.2014, 12:47
Handball in her genes
«Go back »Print Version


FEATURE: With an Olympic gold medallist as father and a double World Championship gold medallist as mother, there seemed to be little choice apart from handball for Shenia Minevskaja. EHF Journalist Björn Pazen met the 21-year-old German for the 'rising stars' series
 

Handball in her genes

If both parents are professional handball players, the way of their child is clearly marked in many cases.

When Shenia (short form of Ewgenija) Minevskaja was born on 31 October 1992 in Minsk, Belarus, her father Andrej had just won Olympic gold medal with CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States; organisation that succeeded the Soviet Union) some months before in Barcelona.

Years before her mother Svetlana had been even more successful, leading the Soviet Union's women’s team to gold at the World Championships 1986 and 1990.

"She only missed the (1992) Olympic Games, because she was pregnant with me," Shenia Minevskaja says these days.

New life

When Minevskaja was one year old, her parents left Belarus and moved to Germany where they still have their home today.

'Little Shenia' was always with them – and what she saw most of the time was handball. "I have been in arenas and on training grounds more often than I was at home in my younger years," she says.

After having played for some years in Solingen, her mother Svetlana transferred to the second division team of DJK/MJC Trier. And it was mainly due to Svetlana Minevskaja’s prowess that Trier promoted to the first league in 2000 and became German champions only three years later.

In Trier Shenia Minevskaja was infected completely with the handball virus. "First it was my dream to become a tennis star, and I tried taekwondo and gymnastics – but eventually it was completely obvious that I would start playing handball."

But it was not her successful parents, who trained her or showed her some tricks, but a player, who is Shenia’s teammate in the German national team today: Anja Althaus, who played for Trier from 2000 to 2007.

"Anja and my youth coach Kerstin Reckenthäler taught me handball, I learnt so much from them," she says.

When her mother’s contract had expired, family Minevskaja – father Andrej is still on the court today – moved to Rostock.

Taking it one step at a time

Shenia started going to a sports school that offered intense handball lessons.

Another two years later – and as her mother signed a contract with Thüringer HC – Shenia did not only become a member of the Thüringer HC handball youth academy, but also member of the German youth national team.

In 2010 she played her first major tournament, the Youth World Championship in the Dominican Republic, followed by the Women's 19 EHF EURO 2011.

"Our team was too young to get a top position, we lacked experience," Minevskaja explains why she never won a medal at younger age category event.

Her star then rose at Thüringer HC, the team she joined in 2008 at just 16, where she was coached by Herbert Müller: "He taught me all about motivation and fighting spirit," Shenia says looking back.

After having won three German domestic league championships and twice the German Cup, Minevskaja took the next career step prior to this season.

"I lacked practice on the court at Thüringer HC. It was great to train with this team and with this coach, but as a handball player you want to play." - so she signed a two-year contract with TuS Metzingen in summer 2013.

"I always play for 60 minutes, I gain experience and I really improved in tactical matters. Without this transfer I currently would not be part of the national team," says Minevskaja.

In Metzingen she became what her mother and father had been famous for: a real shooter. With 160 goals after 20 matches (as of 17 February) the 21-year-old left back tops the Bundesliga scorer list.

Premiere with the national team

In June 2012 Minevskaja, who had just recovered from a long-term injury break following a rupture of her cruciate ligament, celebrated her debut in the German women’s national team during an EHF EURO 2012 qualifier against Azerbaijan.

Due to her rising form and clear improvement national coach Heine Jensen nominated her for the 2013 World Championship - as the second youngest player of his squad.

"It was a great experience for me to see how it works at a major event like this. My dream came true, I got so many impressions – and for the first time I was not the tallest one, I could look up to players like Susann Müller (1,86m) or Nadja Nadgornaja (1,84)," the 1,82-metre-tall Minevskaja says.

The next step for her is to be part at the EHF EURO 2014, co-hosted by Hungary and Croatia in December.

As Germany have been drawn in one of two groups with only three teams, Minevskaja and her teammates will have no official matches at the end of March, but will fight with FYR Macedonia in June following a win and a defeat against Russia in their openers.

"Clinching the berth for the EHF EURO is our clear goal. In the last two major events Germany have proved their upswing – and I hope we can continue in the same way in Hungary and Croatia."

But Minevskaja’s biggest dreams go a little beyond this, towards the World Championship on home court in 2017 and the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

"Every sportsman or sportswoman dreams of being part of the Olympic Games, so do I," she says.

And to win a medal exactly 24 years after her father became Olympic champion would be the icing on the cake for the student of sports and health promotion at the university of Tübingen.


This is the third part of a new series powered by eurohandball.com and ehf-euro.com. In the weeks to come we will throw the spotlight on the many young female handball talents all around Europe that are likely to make an impact on the international stage in the months and years to come.

Part 1: Sweden's Maria Adler: "My time will come"

Part 2: Austria's Sonja Frey: A pair of coaching brothers paved her way to handball


TEXT: Björn Pazen / ts
 
Share
CONTACT FORM