European Handball Manager Certificate Programme

From an idea to an annual seminar then to a Certificate Study Programme, all of this is the result of the successful cooperation between the European Handball Federation, the German Sports University in Cologne, and the Forum Club Handball. This cooperation gave way to the European Handball Manager programme.

In recent years it has come to handball stakeholders attention that the need for highly educated managers is growing, due to the rising economic demands in European club handball. “In contrast to coaches, referees or officials there was no programme for managers in the past. This was the initial aim of this Certificate Study Programme,” commented Helmut Höritsch, EHF CAN Coordinator and Vice Chairman of the Advisory Board of the European Handball Manager. “It is all about developing, not only an effective structure and a solid financial basis but also professional staff with the necessary expertise.”

Supported by the Professional Handball Board, the idea was first born out of the idea to organise club manager seminars on the fringes of the VELUX EHF FINAL 4 in Cologne. And during those seminars – the next edition focusing on marketing aspects on 26 to 28 May 2016 – the demand for such events became even more apparent.

In cooperation with Dr. Stefan Walzel from the German Sports University Cologne (DSHS) the plan for the Certificate Study Programme got underway and the course programme finalised. In January 2015 the cooperation between the EHF and the DSHS was signed. The first 16 European Handball Manager students started their certificate programme in July 2015 over three phases in October 2015, January 2016 and May 2016. The programme ends with a written and oral examination. Upon the successful completion of the examinations, participants will receive a European Handball Manager certificate.

The programme will be offered in German and in English in alternating years in order to ensure that handball managers from all European handball nations have the opportunity to take part. After the successful start in German, the next course 2016/17 will be held in English. From 1 January until 30 April 2016 interested managers can register for the course, which will be open to a maximum of 20 participants.

The certificate study programme consists of five interdisciplinary modules: Economic and legal requirements for team sport, team sport governance and handball management, sport marketing and sponsorship, financing and licensing plus media and communication training, taught by various experts in the fields of economics, law, communication and psychology.

The feedback from this premiere course has been excellent: “This course offers a great opportunity to implement what we have learned into our daily work,” said Axel Geerken, manager of German Bundesliga team MT Melsungen. “This course is a must-have for everybody, who wants to work or even currently works in handball management,” said Christian Fitzek (manager of HSV Hamburg), while Benjamin Chatton (TSV Hannover-Burgdorf) praised the lecturers: “All of them play in the first league of their field of work.”

While Dr. Walzel as the organiser of the study was satisfied with the start of the programme, Gerd Butzeck, Managing Director of the FCH also praised the European Handball Manager Programme: “This tailor-made, handball-specific course is essential for creating sustainability in European Handball and for building a bright future in our sport.”