European Handball Convention concludes three-day meeting in Vienna
The European Handball Convention on Saturday concluded three intense meeting days for the European handball family in Vienna.
The convention followed two days of Secretaries General Conference and marked another important step in the European Handball Federation’s ‘Back in the Game’ approach. Parallel, the meeting of the Executive Committee also took place in Vienna on Friday.
On EHF level, these three meetings were the first major ones which included physical presence of several federation representatives since the final weekend of the Men’s EHF EURO 2020.
In his opening words, EHF President Michael Wiederer said that this information exchange is essential for European handball.
Wiederer underlined the importance of the 10-year media and marketing deal with Infront and DAZN Group, which came into effect on 1 July, but he also said that it puts the European Handball Federation in a position in which it needs to deliver.
“Decisions had and have to be taken. The worst-case management scenario is not to decide,” he said.
Clear statement for VELUX EHF FINAL4 and Women’s EHF EURO 2020
In detail, Wiederer went through the decision-making process over the past six months which included the involvement of the EHF EXEC for all major points along the way, the necessary cancellation and postponement of competitions, the introduction of financial support measures for the federations and the Women’s EHF EURO 2020 of in total several million euro and therefore a necessary revision of the EHF’s budget.
On the upside, over the recent days, there has been a clear statement to hold the VELUX EHF FINAL4 in Cologne and the Women’s EHF EURO 2020 in Norway and Denmark as key events for the promotion and reputation of European handball.
“We have to be present, otherwise we do not exist,” said Wiederer, and with his concluding remarks he introduced German philosopher Christoph Quarch who had been invited to hold a keynote, titled “Save the Game”, which followed a book published by Quarch with the same title.
“At present, the game is threatened by two factors that are mutually reinforcing themselves: the Covid-19 pandemic and the commercialisation and instrumentalisation of the game”, Quarch started.
Outlining the immense value of games, Quarch finished his keynote, saying to the auditorium, “My intention is to encourage you to use your influence to take the necessary steps in the game of handball to save the game.”
Initiatives for the Master Plan
For the convention’s final part, JJ Rowland, Director Business Development & Marketing, presented a first summary of the Secretaries General Conference at which federation representatives had been asked to set goals for the European Handball Master Plan as well as brainstorm initiatives for the European and the national federation level.
While the Master Plan in its original form was presented at the final weekend of the Men’s EHF EURO 2020, the pandemic forced a shift of focus and a ‘Back to Handball’ phase was inserted, while the second phase, initially meant to be the first, ‘Growing the Sport’ will be at the core from now on.
As next steps and before the delivery of the Master Plan as such, the goals and initiatives mentioned will be finalised and priorities will be identified. Budget and staff will also be allocated to the different topics.