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Date: 1/20/2019

A promising step towards further development in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia was taken in Tallinn on January 11, when representatives of the three national federations met to officially form the Baltic Handball Association (BHA). The organisation will focus on general development, but the main goal is to advance the men’s Baltic Handball League (BHL).


“Today clearly proved that people can think not just locally but can see the bigger picture. The problems and joys in all three countries are the same, so working together, we can only become stronger,” said Estonian Handball Federation Chairman of the Board Oliver Kruuda, before outlining how there are five main focuses, but the main priority is to strengthen the BHL, which has been in operation for two decades.


“Similar importance will be the development of youth, women’s and beach handball and the cooperation in education. We have now taken the first step, so let's roll up our sleeves and get to work.”


For President of the Lithuanian Handball Federation Donatas Pasvenska, a main hope is youth development.


“We all hope this action will give a new impulse for handball in all three countries. Not just on the top level, but also in youth and women's handball. Our youth national teams are not doing well in Europe and I sincerely hope cooperation between our nations can change this,” said Pasvenska.


Pasvenska added that women’s handball is already popular in Lithuania, and the BHA cooperation should aid development in Latvia and Estonia. Importantly, Pasvenska says one of the most important areas the BHA should benefit is the field of education.


Latvian Handball Federation General Secretary Guntis Ciematnieks said he hopes the BHA will help to develop strong national teams: “Working together we can build not just one, but three strong national teams.


“Everyone in the handball world talks about the Scandinavian handball or Balkan style, but we have ambitions to make people also speak about Baltic handball,” said Ciematnieks. “It is a great chance for three of us, not to work individually, but to make developments together – handball is a team sport!”


Photo: Estonian Handball Federation