FEATURE: Hungary’s women’s beach handball champions come to the latest event addition to the beach handball calendar with the clear desire to win
OVB Beach Girls hope that team spirit carries them all the way at EHF Champions Cup
There are a lot of reasons why Hungary’s domestic beach handball women’ champions, the OVB Beach Girls, took up the sport more than 10 years ago:
The chance of playing handball on the beach when it is (usually) sunny and the atmosphere of friendship are just some – but the desire for success is also another one.
They have won numerous titles on the domestic as well as on the international level, including the ebt Finals this year, and this week they have travelled to Gran Canaria where they will participate at the inaugural EHF Beach Handball Champions Cup with the clear desire to win.
"We are very happy to play at the EHF Beach Handball Champions Cup because it is a new tournament where the best clubs (the national champions) take part from different countries.
"I think it is a good opportunity to meet teams which are at the same level as we are and play exciting matches against each other.
"This tournament is a very important beach handball event. Therefore our team is very excited. We will have strong opponents but we are dreaming of another success," says Judit Jonas, one of the club’s founders.
At the Champions Cup (31 October to 2 November) the Beach Girls have been drawn to Group A in which they will face Detono Zagreb from Croatia, German side Brüder Ismaning, BHT Piotrkowianin Juko Piotrków Trybunalski from Poland and N. Belchior / Acad. de Leiria from Portugal.
Only the two top ranked teams from each of the two groups qualify for the semi-finals.
One last chance before winter
The OVB Beach Girls are all aged between 28 and 30. They usually play indoor handball in the second or third Hungarian league and use the summer break for playing beach handball.
It was in 2002 that the OVB Beach Girls were founded – and also the year, in which they won their first of overall national Hungarian championships – and despite the odd new player or coach, the core of the team around Judit Jonas is still intact.
"We are like a family," says Jonas. "We can laugh and cry together and fight for our teammates’ dreams and take care of each other when facing difficulties.
"We believe this is our team’s secret."
There are, of course, times when they only train once, but during the beach handball season they take to a sandy court every night once they finished work.
And with the chance of success looming at the EHF Beach Handball Champions Cup, it seems certain that they will once more give everything they have for yet another success that will carry them through winter until the next beach handball season.
TEXT: Krisztina Deak / ts
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