Lászlo Sinka, chairman of the EHF Beach Handball Commission, looks back on the 2011 YAC Beach Handball EURO.
“Fair Play as key to success”
Between 30 June and 02 July 2011 the 2011 European Younger Age Category (W19/M19) Beach Handball Championships took place on the Croatian coast in Umag. Both gold medallists – Hungary for the Women’s 19 and Croatia for the Men’s 19 – share the same concept behind their success.
The chairman of the tournament, Lászlo Sinka, also chairman of the EHF Beach Handball Commission, spoke about the last days, the development of the sport and about the upcoming senior championships.
eurohandball.com: How do you look back on the two 2011 YAC EUROs?
Lászlo Sinka: The 2011 YAC Beach Handball EURO both for Women’s 19 and Men’s 19 has been a great success. In 2008 we started with the first youth EURO of this dimension in Hungary, and this second edition here in Umag proved the development of this summer sport. In these 64 games we did not only see 16 skilful teams from 9 countries but also the tremendous popularity this sport has arisen to among young people.
eurohandball.com: How has Beach Handball developed in the last years?
Lászlo Sinka: The athletes have improved, it was really impressive to see how well-prepared for Beach Handball all teams arrived here. The matches were on an extremely high level. I would like to not only congratulate the players but also the coaches. They have done a great job. Also the Croatian hosts have succeeded with their organisation; the facilities are admirable and full of spectators. In the Final Round almost all seats in the Grand stand were filled.
eurohandball.com: Are the same nations dominant in both Indoor and Beach Handball?
Lászlo Sinka: Not necessarily, we see a clear correlation between the teams whose national federations show a great interest in Beach Handball and work harder for the sport and the players. It was nice to see Switzerland perform on such high level, also the Italian men won the bronze medal. For many years we have seen first-class teams from Croatia, Spain, Hungary and Norway. Nowadays more new nations join the big tournaments.
eurohandball.com: Is Georgia one of those nations?
Lászlo Sinka: Georgia will be the organisers of the 2012 Younger Age Category European Beach Handball Championships (see full article here). It is our vision to include as many countries as possible in the active handball family. Organising a major Beach Handball event is one possible way to come closer.
eurohandball.com: How do you look back on the tournaments from a Fair Play perspective?
Lászlo Sinka: It is in the spirit of Beach Handball to enjoy the sport and to have fun while still being involved in competitive events. One of the biggest surprises was the fact that we did not have one single disciplinary case over both the men’s and the women’s tournament. Even more amazing that both teams that won their respective tournament – Hungary the W19 and Croatia the M19 – were also the winners of the Fair Play awards. This clearly proves that this sport is designed in the name of fun –playing fair can actually help you to succeed. And this really describes the spirit of this wonderful sport. But it is more than that. I think it is also a clear message for all the teams that will start tomorrow at the senior 2011 European Beach Handball Championships.
View the online photo gallery of the event.
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