In October 2020, almost 1,000 participants gathered virtually for the first European Handball Online Summit, to expand their knowledge on important grassroots topics in handball.
The event, which took place over three days, was supported by the EHF and featured a stellar line-up of experts in fields allied to the EHF projects.
Among those presenting from a list of 25 thought-provoking presentations were Dr Stefan Walzel of the German Sport University Cologne; Carlos Prieto of Share & Play; EHF Beach Handball lecturer Alex Gehrer; Ole Bruun Andersen from GOALCHA; and iCoachKids project director Sergio Lara-Bercial.
The summit, which took place completely online, was watched by 897 registered participants from 58 countries. Topics included grassroots initiatives, wheelchair handball, school handball, economic aspects of grassroots handball, children’s handball and managing a dual career.
Lively question-and-answer sessions added to the depth of the summit, as presentations encouraged participants to get involved and share their passion on the topics discussed.
Participants were able to buy a subscription for the summit, giving them the chance to watch back over 12 hours of video material.
The EHF focused on two specific grassroots initiatives during 2020.
In March, in response to continent-wide lockdowns, EHF Competence Academy & Network partners GOALCHA, the grassroots form of handball designed to encourage everyone to take up the sport, published a series of fun and family-orientated videos to help people stay healthy.
GOALCHA co-founder Ole Bruun Anderson posted a host of training and exercise clips to help inspire people at home to keep active with handball. The videos formed a part of a social media challenge aimed specifically at highlighting coaching methods.
Meanwhile, the EHF added educational initiative iCoachKids as an official partner of its competence academy and network.
The iCoachKids project helps children from all backgrounds enjoy playing sport by targeting coaches and parents with free online resources to help them keep kids active and interested.
The partnership with the EHF is aimed at broadening awareness and raising the profile of the work undertaken by the iCoachKids team, which is led by Sergio Lara-Bercial, co-ordinator of the project in the UK and lecturer at Leeds Beckett University.
To mark the start of the partnership, the EHF presented an iCoachKids Week and introduced the project through social media, offering videos for coaches and physical education teachers who are working with children.