Fans kept engaged during lockdown
07 May. 2020
During the COVID-19 lockdown period, European federations are finding a number of ways to keep their communities engaged in handball despite being unable to train, play or watch new matches. Several federations have been sharing training tips from their top players and treating their fans to special viewings of historic matches.
The German Handball Federation (DHB) launched their ‘We. You. All.’ campaign at the end of March and have been busy providing daily training exercises and tips from their top stars and coaches in their ‘Fit with the DHB’ series. The co-hosts of the 2019 IHF Men’s World Championship have also been producing and broadcasting a podcast on which a number of national team players have been guests and sharing fitness training ideas for children and teenagers.
In addition, over the past week, DHB have shown EHF EURO matches on their Facebook page. In cooperation with the Slovenian Handball Federation, two classic clashes between Germany and Slovenia were shown: the EHF EURO 2004 main round match and the final at the same event, won by Germany and also representing Slovenia’s best result ever in the competition.
DHB also showed an EHF EURO 2016 qualification match featuring Germany against Spain – a game that would later be relived to decide the trophy, taken by Germany. Previously, the 1978 IHF Men’s World Championship final and 2007 IHF Men’s World Championship semi-final were shown on the nationwide channel ZDF.
Alongside the match streams, the Slovenian Handball Federation have been providing entertainment in the form of puzzles and content for young fans across their social media channels.
The French Handball Federation (FFHB) have also shown some of the most memorable matches of their national teams, including the final of the 2009 IHF Men’s World Championship (also available for viewing on the IHF Facebook page) against Croatia, the men’s final of the 2008 Olympic Games versus Iceland, and the final of the 1999 Women’s World Championship against Norway.
As well as this, the FFHB launched a new platform for coaches and educators operating within French handball, MyCoach by FFHandball.
On Instagram, the Norwegian Handball Federation have been sharing training advice from their top players, including women’s team captain Stine Oftedal and EHF EURO 2020 top scorer Sander Sagosen. Additionally, the NHF have published materials on their website with ideas for training.
From Denmark, the men’s and women’s national team social media accounts have been full of unique features for fans to enjoy. The men’s team have issued challenges to fans, and a number of players have had a turn on an Instagram takeover, sharing their day.
From the women’s team, in the latest episode of ‘On the way’ shown on Instagram, goalkeeper Sandra Toft shares the story of a serious car accident she was in just over 10 years ago and how the experience affected her.
In Spain, top national team players have been active participants in aiding the fight against COVID-19, while also helping to maintain solidarity by sharing their daily activities with fans. Silvia Navarro and Raul Entrerrios both donated their jerseys towards the Red Cross campaign, and Entrerrios participated in a video conference with the King of Spain to discuss the situation with sport in the country.
In the way of entertainment, EHF EURO 2020 All-star right back Jorge Maqueda has been sharing his love for cooking, in cooperation with the Spanish Handball Federation.
Handball’s most competitive continent is finding plenty of ways to keep players, officials and fans engaged – but the adapted coverage does not end with the national federations. The European Handball Federation have also been keeping fans entertained with re-live streams, featuring EHF EURO matches as well as EHF Champions League games on the relevant channels.
Fans are able to enjoy classic matches with the IHF as well. Every Friday the IHF is replaying classic matches on the IHF Facebook page.