20 Jul. 2020
The first annual International Handball Week came to an end on Saturday, following a highly successful seven days of mainly online celebration and storytelling. The week began on 12 July, the IHF’s founding date in 1946, and ran through to 18 July.
International Handball Week was an initiative planned by the IHF for some time, but the first edition looked a little different than initially expected, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic and the widespread halt to on-court activities and allowance for spectators around the world meant the first International Handball Week had to be focused online – and the handball community certainly made the sport’s presence felt in that sphere.
Member federations around the world joined the online conversation in a variety of ways. Content visible from around the world included live online streams with either discussions on different handball topics or the provision of educational lectures, the sharing of stories of different nations’ and teams’ histories, sharing information on current activities and projects, or simply posting photos.
As part of our @ihf.official #handballweek celebrations, we thought it would be cool to have one of our current national team players sit down with one of their coaches and talk handball! So, set your watches, as later today (Wednesday 15 July) at 1pm (UK/BST), GB Men's Senior Assistant Coach/U20 Head Coach and London 2012 Olympian @christophergb_ will have a chat with GB Men's goalkeeper @darrenlin about handball in GB and their own personal experiences. If you have any questions, post them here! #gbhandball
A quick chat with New Zealand Women’s Team Manager Jordan Thorstensen and Coach Eoin Murray during this weekend Open Women’s Training #handballweek #nzhandball #nzhfPosted by New Zealand Handball Federation on Saturday, July 18, 2020
Gift Stars men team is celebrating the winning of the International Handball Week cup pic.twitter.com/c2eqW4FJw5— Somali Handball Federation (@HandballSomali) July 18, 2020
De Handbalzomer is nog steeds in volle gang💥 Afgelopen weekend hebben wij clinics gegeven bij HV Leidsche Rijn, SC Twist, The Flyers en Swift Helmond🤾♀️🙌#handballweek #HandbalNL pic.twitter.com/s0Dk8TagRL— Handbal Nederland (@Handbal_NL) July 14, 2020
🆙 J-U-M-P for the #handballweek 🔝💚💛❤️@ihf_info #letsgovamos #heróisdomar #fazeracontecer #mostraremcampo #superportugal #seleçãonacionalandebol #portugal #vamoscomtudo #andebol #jogossantacasa #aguamonchique pic.twitter.com/jiQ8SmLpgy— Federação de Andebol (@AndebolPortugal) July 16, 2020
Some countries used the opportunity to promote specific projects, such as the Handball Federation of Slovenia, who focused the week on their various programmes and initiatives developing and supporting women’s handball. This was done with their women’s handball mascot, Meta, and at the end of the week, the Federation shared a video overview of all the projects.
Preveri v videu, kaj vse je odkrila na svojem potepu v mednarodnem tednu rokometa.😉🤾♀ . . #handballweek #miSlovenci #handball #rokomet #beachhandball @ihf.official @rkkrim @sdrsvrhnika #beachball #ehfcl @ehfcl @anejabeganovic14 @natasa_ljepoja @amrapandzic @tamcilii @janjastavar #rokometnazvezaslovenije #rzs #slovenia #slovenija #womenshandball #zenskirokomet #1ZRL @1.zenskarokometnaliga #rzs_si #ženskirokomet #1ženskarokometnaliga #1zenskarokometnaliga
Local clubs and individual players or members of the community were also engaged in the online conversation. For example, in Russia, led by a strong online presence throughout the week from the National Federation, many clubs participated in International Handball Week, sharing videos, pieces of their history, challenges and more.
Russia national team player and 2016 Olympic champion Daria Dmitrieva was one among three players – the other two being 2013 world champion from Brazil, Eduarda Amorim, and 2019 Youth world champion from Egypt, Ahmed Hesham – who shared their beginnings in handball in short video interviews posted on the IHF channels.
Three questions for International Handball Week: Daria Dmitrieva
🇷🇺 2016 Olympic champion Daria Dmitrieva tells us all about her start in handball and what she's focused on next 💪 Федерация гандбола России / Handball Federation of RussiaPosted by International Handball Federation - IHF on Thursday, July 16, 2020
The Japan Handball Association held a popular photo contest that saw the participation of many fans, who shared all kinds of pictures related to their favourite handball memories and moments.
International Handball Week 👙🤾♀️🇨🇱🇯🇵❤️ w/Chile National Beach handball team🇨🇱 Nov.2019 昨年行った、ビーチハンドボール チリ代表の皆と🇨🇱 女性の社会進出や南米の中では比較的治安がいいとはいえ、やはり日本とは違う環境の中でビーチハンドに夢中になる彼女たちの姿は凄くカッコよくて美しかった。 そしてプレー上手かった😂 《12th〜18th July》 Re: @japanhandballassociation 【#ハンドボール思い出 #写真コンテスト】 7/16の正午までです！ ↓ ↓ 『ハンドボール思い出写真コンテスト』 7/12～18に @ihf.official による第1回「国際ハンドボール週間」があります。 これにあわせ、今年は各国で「 #handballweek 」のハッシュタグのもと、SNS企画を同時展開します。 @japanhandballassociation では『 #ハンドボール思い出 写真コンテスト 』を開催！ 現在、練習や試合がいつも通りにできない状態が世界中で続いていますが、一日でも早くまたハンドボールを楽しめる日が来るよう願いを込めて、ハンドボールの面白さが伝わるお気に入りの写真、ハンドボールを通じた汗と涙と友情の写真を共有しませんか？ 優秀作品には記念品をご用意しています！ 7月12日（日）午前10時～16日正午12時、TwitterとInstagramで参加受付です。 【受付開始はまだです！写真を選びつつお待ちください】 詳しくはJHAホームページをご確認ください。 https://t.co/fhejxOWHK3?amp=1 --------------------------------------- わたくし【審査員】を務めさせて頂きます（^人^）どしどしご応募ください📸 審査員の作品は審査対象にはなりませんが、写真を撮るのも好きなので私も投稿しております♡ #thetistokyo #internationalhandballweek #handball #ハンドボール #beachhandball #ビーチハンドボール#handballweek #handballjp #ハンドボール思い出
Naturally, players for prominent teams also posted about the week on their own channels, such as Argentina’s Federico Pizarro and Chile’s Erwin Feuchtmann.
On the IHF side, the online celebration included interviews with presidents of Continental Confederations as well as a message from IHF President Dr Hassan Moustafa, the introduction of the new IHF logo, streaming of seven matches stretching from the 1990 IHF Men’s World Championship to the first Beach Handball World Championships in 2004 to the 2017 IHF World Championships for both men and women, handball history themed trivia, special videos including a tribute to handball through time and session four of the 1st IHF Live Online Symposium.
During the week, the IHF also held a virtual meeting where national federations were invited to participate in an open discussion with the IHF Council.
On the IHF side, the week culminated with the announcement of the 2019 IHF World Players and Coaches of the Year. All four recipients were first-time winners, with Stine Bredal Oftedal (Norway and Györi Audi ETO KC (HUN)) and Niklas Landin Jacobsen (Denmark and THW Kiel (GER)) scooping the Player of the Year awards, and Nikolaj Jacobsen (Denmark and Rhein-Neckar Löwen (GER – to June 2019)) and Emmanuel Mayonnade (Netherlands and Metz Handball (FRA)) named the Coaches of the Year.
Presenting the winners of the 2019 IHF World Player and Coach of the Year awards! 🙌 2019 IHF Female World Player of the Year: Stine Bredal Oftedal – Norway / Györi Audi ETO KC 2019 IHF Male World Player of the Year: Niklas Landin Jacobsen – Denmark / THW Kiel 2019 IHF World Coach of the Year - men's teams: Nikolaj Jacobsen – Denmark / Rhein-Neckar Löwen (to June 2019) 2019 IHF World Coach of the Year - women's teams: Emmanuel Mayonnade – Netherlands / Metz Handball #handballweek #bestofhandball #staystrong
Overall, the first annual International Handball Week was an immense success, particularly considering the unusual circumstances in which it was held, not only because of the strong online presence for handball that resulted, but the reinforcement of global community and collective celebration of values that have surely helped all closely involved in the sport in this difficult time.
The IHF would like to thank all those who participated and especially acknowledge the work of the National Federations who actively took part and encouraged their own communities to do so.