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Date: 11/20/2017
 

The 2017 IHF Women’s World Championship in Germany is ready for action as from 1-17 December 24 teams will be battling it out for global glory over 84 matches in six venues spread across the northern European country.

 

But the tournament features another team – the referees. After being nominated back in July the 16 pairs of officials underwent a three-day preparation period in Germany back in September in cooperation with the German Handball Federation (DHB)

 

IHF.info asked the same questions to all 32 of the referees set to whistle at Germany 2017, and this is what they had to say.

 

This time, we look at the Russian referee pair of Viktoriia Alpaidze and Tatiana Berezkina, who are both 30 years old.

 

IHF.info: Why did you want to be a referee?

 

Viktoriia Alpaidze (VA): I wanted to be referee because it was one of the best solutions to stay in handball [after playing].

 

Tatiana Berezkina (TB): I didn’t want to finish with handball after my playing career ended – handball is my life.

 

IHF.info: What is the best part of refereeing?

 

VA: It allows me to learn and to love other cultures, customs, people and faces. I have the chance of discovering how to play handball in other countries of the world and continuing to be part of the game.

 

TB: What is the best part? I think the opportunity to meet new people, communicate, be in sport and be part of a ‘big family’.

 

IHF.info: What IHF World Championships – at any level – have you whistled at?

 

VA: IHF Women’s Youth World Championship 2014 – FYR Macedonia and Women’s World Championship 2015 – Denmark and the 2016 IHF Women's Youth World Championship in Slovakia – as well as the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

 

IHF.info: Have you been to Germany before?

 

VA: Yes, I have been to Germany about five times before.

 

TB: Same, I have been in Germany many times.

 

IHF.info: What other sports do you enjoy?

 

VA: I like sumo, judo, tennis and team sports such as football, hockey, rugby.

 

TB: Figure skating, gymnastics, football, biathlon.

 

IHF.info: How long have you been whistling together?

 

VA: We have been refereeing together approximately 12-13 years.

TB: 12 years.

 

IHF.info: Can you remember when you first whistled together?

 

VA: Frankly speaking I can’t remember – only the first few matches.

 

TB: No, I really cannot remember our first game.

 

IHF.info: Tell us one thing about your partner that no-one knows…

 

VA:  I will answer this question only in her presence.

 

TB: I cannot say anything because after that I will have to kill you! This is secret information.

 

IHF.info: How are you preparing for Germany 2017?

VA: Our preparation for Germany 2017 is complex with refereeing practice including analysing our own matches, watching video clips and games, physical training, repeating rules and rule tests.

 

TB: Our preparation consists of many components; theoretical, mental, practical and physical preparation, but we pay more attention to practising our refereeing and physical training.

 

IHF.info: Away from the teams or the games, what are you most looking forward to at Germany 2017?

 

VA: Germany is a country with a rich culture and heritage and has a lot of historical monuments. For me, it will be a pleasure to see even a small part of it.

 

TB: I am looking forward to a good atmosphere of competition and the opportunity to learn something new and useful.

 

IHF.info: Who is/are your favourite referee(s) in other sports - alive or dead, working or retired?

 

VA: My favourite referee the judo referee, Germans Steinbuks, my husband.

 

TB: The football referee – Pierluigi Collina.

 

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