FEATURE: Wisła Płock's Manolo Cadenas and Adam Wiśniewski present to enjoy a showcase of beach handball in spectacular surroundings
Beach party in Plock with local heroes in support
Beach handball in the middle of the Old Town? Why not? Nearly twenty teams struggled for the Mayor of Płock's Cup last weekend. The tournament was preceded by the Artur Siódmiak camp for youth players, assisted by the stars of Wisła Płock, Manolo Cadenas and Adam Wiśniewski.
Beautiful girls, handsome boys, good music and a huge portion of beach handball; all of this located in a stylish entourage of 18th century mansions - it had to culminate in success.
After establishing itself as a destination for the elite of European club handball last season, this summer Płock decided to appear on the map of beach events as well. The town, which for years has been competing with Kielce for the title of Polish capitol of handball, hosted the nation’s top teams fighting for points in the European Beach Handball Tour last weekend. The contest was also a stage of the Polish Championships, which will come to a conclusion in Gdańsk at the beginning of August.
The tournament was played on two courts arranged on the market square and surrounded by 500 sitting places for the spectators. Originally it was planned to take a place at the Vistula riverside, but the organisers moved to the Old Town to attract a larger audience.
“The scenery was great. In my opinion, choosing the market square for the event was a bull’s eye. For me as a resident of Płock it was amazing to play in front of the town hall,” said Adrian Fiodor, a player of the host team Auto Forum Petra Płock and the national team of Poland.
“The stands were full during each match, the weather, with a short exception, was perfect, the charm of the Old Town created a unique atmosphere. That was pure magic! Even the players with almost ten years of experience said that it was best tournament they’ve taken part in.”
Sunshine after the rain
Even the rain that decided to thwart participant’s plans on Sunday afternoon did not manage to ruin the beach party.
“The rain surprised us, even the weather forecast didn’t predict it. The women’s final spread into instalments and was partly played in the streams of rain. But people were still there,” Fiodor reported.
Everyone was waiting for the men’s final, in which the local side Petra took on the team from Inowrocław. After very tight battle decided by golden goals twice, the hosts were happy to win the tournament.
“The final was the most exciting match I have played in beach handball,” said Fiodor. “That was our first victory in the Polish Championship. We lost three times in the finals up until now, so this home victory was a screenplay we all dreamed of.”
Byczki Kowalewo Pomorskie triumphed in the women’s contest and both winning teams were presented with their prize by Manolo Cadenas and Adam Wiśniewski, who watched the contest after taking a part in the show match during the Artur Siódmiak camp.
Once tried, always used
The Płock event was an important step on Polish way to spread beach handball over the country. As the outdoor version of the discipline is still not equal in popularity yet, it is important to organise such events.
Fiodor emphasises: “Płock is an ideal ground for sowing the seeds of beach handball. Each citizen already loves the classic handball. During the past three days the market square was full of people interested in the tournament. I think we can say now that everyone here loves the beach version as well."
For me and my teammates this is a perfect way to fill in the gap in the indoor season. It’s also great fun. Each weekend you are in a different place in the country or even in Europe. Everyone who once tried beach handball says that it’s impossible not to play it again,” concluded Fiodor.
Photo credits: Grzegorz Trzpil
TEXT: Magda Pluszewska / cor
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