Conference for Secretaries General
Managers of national federations met in September 2020 for the 12th Conference for Secretaries General, to learn and discuss the changes and challenges within European handball ahead of the busy 2020/21 season.
The conference also formed an important final stage of the development of the new EHF Master Plan, with the federations charged with providing their inputs, ideas and requirements in a series of break-out sessions to identify the goals of the project plus the initiatives required at both EHF and national levels.
With elite-level handball making a much-welcome return earlier in the month, the conference – titled Back in the Game – Growing Handball – began by informing federations on the steps being implemented to ensure a safe return to action, including a recap on the EHF’s hygiene concept regarding Covid-19.
As a result of the disruption to the 2019/20 calendar caused by Covid-19, the secretaries general were also informed about updates to the playing calendar, spanning club, national team and beach handball competitions. Additionally, information was given on the bidding processes for the EHF EURO 2026 and 2028 events.
Furthermore, the latest developments within the EHF were introduced, with presentations focusing on the new digital environment, the refreshed social media channels, the new Home of Handball website and the new brand.
There was also an update from the EHF and EHF Marketing’s long-term media and marketing partners, Infront and DAZN, on the progress made in sales, digital marketing and TV production.
Federations were given an update on several EHF projects within this area, including wheelchair handball, Respect Your Talent and data tracking.
European Handball Convention
The European Handball Convention concluded three intense meeting days for the European handball family in Vienna in September 2020.
The convention followed two days of the Secretaries General Conference and marked another important step in the European Handball Federation’s ‘Back in the Game’ approach. At the same time, the meeting of the EHF Executive Committee also took place in Vienna.
On an EHF level, these three meetings were the first major ones to include the physical presence of several federation representatives since the final weekend of the Men’s EHF EURO 2020.
In his opening words, EHF President Michael Wiederer said that this information exchange was essential for European handball.
Wiederer underlined the importance of the 10-year media and marketing deal with Infront and DAZN Group, which came into effect on 1 July, also stating that it put the European Handball Federation in a position in which it needed to deliver.
Decisions had and have to be taken. The worst-case management scenario is not to decide.
Wiederer outlined the decision-making process over the past six months. This process included the involvement of the EHF EXEC for all major decisions along the way, the necessary cancellation and postponement of competitions, the introduction of financial support measures for federations and the Women’s EHF EURO 2020 of, in total, several million euro and, therefore, a necessary revision of the EHF’s budget.
There was also a clear statement of intent to hold the VELUX EHF FINAL4 in Cologne and the Women’s EHF EURO 2020 as key events for the promotion and reputation of European handball.
We have to be present, otherwise we do not exist
The convention’s keynote speech was entitled ‘Save the Game’, after a book by German philosopher Christoph Quarch.
The convention also saw EHF Director Business Development & Marketing, JJ Rowland, present a first summary of the Secretaries General Conference.