The Women’s Handball Board (WHB) is committed to the betterment of women contributing to handball in all its different facets including development, dual careers and education. In 2018, the WHB focused its attention on youth players and youth handball.

Working closely with the EHF Competence Academy & Network (EHF CAN), the WHB had numerous successes over the past year. These included supporting the educational goals of 25 female participants through various courses and the development of a project for the mentoring of coaches in women’s youth handball to improve the development of the women’s youth handball on a national level.

Promotional activities were also initiated, in conjunction with the EHF Media and Communications Department, including a role model campaign and a handball ambassador project to strengthen the image of women’s handball.

All the activities will continue into 2019 – adding to the 10 projects in the pipeline for the coming year.

Handball Inspires Generations

In June, to coincide with the draw for the Women’s EHF EURO 2018 in France, a new campaign was launched with the aim of promoting women’s handball under the slogan of 'Handball Inspires Generations'. In a first step a promotional video was published and distributed across digital channels and to all member federations.

The film shows a player’s career path from the very top to an eventual career in coaching. It features Women’s EHF EURO 2018 bronze medallist, Dutch international goalkeeper Tess Wester; Danish international Line Jorgensen; Swedish international and EHF EURO 2014 MVP Bella Gullden; Edina Szabo Borsos, coach of Hungarian club side Erd, and EHF EURO 2018 winners Amandine Leynaud and Camille Ayglon Saurina from France.

Also as part of the campaign, German record international player Grit Jurack; referee pair Charlotte and Julie Bonaventura; EHF delegate Carmen Manchado and Hungarian Handball Federation Vice President Katalin Palinger are featured, completing the whole breadth of role models.

Each of the role models represents a specific stage in a player’s development: a rising star, an established player, a top player, motherhood, the final years of her career and post-career. Each stage is presented in an individual video and published through an individual story on the EHF website and social media channels.

All the role models appeared in a variety of promotional activities online as well as at national team and WOMEN’S EHF Champions League matches and further to the initial group of inspirational figures, all 16 nations at the Women’s EHF EURO in France added their very own ‘generation link’ story, featuring their own role models and key players.

The ‘Handball Inspires Generations’ campaign will continue until August 2019.

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Handball inspires generations! As we count down to the Women's #ehfeuro2018 in France, have a look why these French internationals (@femmes_de_defis_officiel) took up the sport we all love ❤ #handballinspires #ehfeuro2018 #handballissime #29daystogo

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Women’s Handball Convention

The Women’s EHF EURO 2018 was the setting for the EHF Women’s Handball Convention, which saw representatives of federations and clubs across Europe presented with new ideas for development and promotion. The event also sought to strengthen the women’s handball network.

Held at the Maison du Handball in Créteil, the headquarters of the French Handball Federation, the convention was opened by EHF Secretary General Martin Hausleitner, who spoke of the success of the Women’s EHF EURO 2018, highlighting the outstanding performances on court at the EHF EURO.

The convention featured keynote speeches focused on the continued development of women’s sport. This included a presentation of the ‘This Girl Can’ campaign from Sport England’s Kate Dale and an overview of both FIBA digital marketing programmes and the EHF/M’s future digital marketing plans from Joe Edwards, Marketing Director DAZN Partnerships.

SELECT’s Jan Gubi Wichmann and Kinexon’s Maximilian Schmidt also presented the iBall and the ball manufacturer’s Maxi Grip – resin-free ball.

The EHF Women’s Handball Coordinator, Alenka Cuderman, also updated the participants on the latest women’s handball programmes and initiatives.

This includes the newly-introduced project ‘Mentoring of Coaches in Women’s Youth Handball’, which has been created with the long-term aim of propelling the EHF EURO and WOMEN'S EHF Champions League to the next level. The project’s objective is to develop and increase the number of female elite players across more countries in the future and to close the gap to the top 10 nations.

The WHB’s new ‘Life Skills Toolkit for Players’ for also presented.

This will take the form of guidelines to assist top players to cope with the challenges they are exposed to, both on and off the court. This will cover important topics, including: projecting a positive image, communication with the media, the necessity of a dual career, balancing sport and education, planning post-career and anti-doping information.

In 2019, the WHB will produce an online survey/questionnaire, which will provide players with information, and in turn raise the interest to challenge themselves via quizzes and motivate them to further self-analysis.