NEWS: Near and mid-term future of European handball at the core of major meeting scheduled to take place in Vienna in September
EHF stages ‘European Handball Convention’ in a bid to resume the game as soon as possible
The European Handball Federation has addressed its members federation, inviting them to the premiere ‘European Handball Convention’ in what could possibly become the first major stakeholder meeting since the COVID-19 pandemic brought the sport to a halt on the European level.
The convention is scheduled to take place from 17 to 20 September in Vienna with the National Federations’ Secretaries General as well as its Presidents in attendance and the near and mid-term future of European handball as its core topic.
“Over the coming months, we will see a changed landscape in sport, media, and marketing. Some sports will be more challenged than others especially on the field of global activities; potential partners demand a clear picture and stable structures,” says EHF President Michael Wiederer.
“Handball has managed to give a unified picture to the outside world during the last years and that through internal dialogues, the different challenges were overcome. We see this as essential and out of the experience of the previous two months with many video conferences on a technical, strategic and business level, it became visible that the personal component plays an important role for creating a common understanding.”
“Take a ball and play”
On 24 April, the EHF Executive Committee decided that competitions and matches organised under the umbrella of the EHF and scheduled until the middle of August 2020 will either be postponed or cancelled.
“The EHF and its bodies on a technical and organisational level are now actively preparing the upcoming season to secure a good start of the business,” says Michael Wiederer.
“The planning for the upcoming season sees a regular start and in case of challenges we commonly cannot overcome, we will have to look for solutions which make sure that the idea of ‘playing’ can go ahead.
“We must find a way to play – at the earliest possible date but taking the conditions into consideration. We have to continue to move forward and prepare the upcoming season as it is not only about contracts and our obligations to deliver; it is also about motivating people to take a ball in their hands and play.
“At the same time, we are carefully monitoring what is and is not possible as well as analysing – together with the different stakeholders – what consequences handball matches on a high level may face in case of a continuation of fan restrictions for big events,” adds Wiederer.
Master plan offers support for federations
At the Men’s EHF EURO 2020 in January, Wiederer presented the European Handball Master Plan and its '7 Players' as a core element of the further development of European handball in the next decade.
It now becomes a tool to support federations in their quest to lessen the pandemic’s impact on sport on all levels.
“The master plan is not obsolete as it targets the necessary investments in our sport on all levels from grassroots to the top level.
“As we missed the chance of meeting the representatives of the National Federations at the Conference for Secretaries Generals in April, we will use a more individual approach by clustering federations on the basis of their activities in order to define precise support measures,” explains Wiederer.
When it comes to the 'European Handball Convention' input from the National Federations is highly and the active participation will form an important element for the creation for the future of European handball.
TEXT: EHF / ts
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