PROMOTING WOMEN IN HANDBALL
To coincide with International Women’s Day 2023 in March, the EHF launched a campaign promoting women in handball. ‘Empower to inspire’ had several different angles, including the launch of a female commentators project, and website and social media series showcasing women in the sport.
Empower your voice
The ‘Empower your voice’ project is aimed at addressing the low numbers of female commentators in handball. The EHF launched a search for female commentators for the ‘world feed’ coverage of EHF events – looking for women keen to put their voice to handball matches.
Four candidates were chosen from a diverse range of backgrounds and three of them - Nikki Schreurs, Nina Bargel-Neuhaus and Alexandra Mair – were able to attend a workshop in Romania at the W19 EHF EURO, where they learned from expert commentators Paul Bray and Glen Mackay and delivered test commentary during the matches. The fourth candidate, British wheelchair basketball Paralympian, Clare Griffiths, would join a later workshop.
Mair joined EHF commentator Chris O’Reilly for a watchalong at the EHF Beach Handball Champions Cup 2023 in October 2023 in her first live appearance.
Empower to inspire
‘Empower to inspire’ was a special website series with five articles featuring female players who are strong both on and off the court, inspiring many.
The series kicked off by focusing on Sweden’s Jenny Carlson, who has overcome the challenges of a chronic illness to shine as a top handball player. Despite suffering from colitis and wearing a stoma bag, Carlson has succeeded at club and national level – and has spoken openly about the challenges she faces.
France’s Estelle Nze Minko has won all handball’s major titles, and the series showed how she uses her star power to advocate for female athletes and help raise awareness of how challenging periods can be.
The third feature looked at how Andrea Lekic is dedicated to working with children and future stars of handball, including through the EHF’s Respect Your Talent programme. Her work may change a life – and Crina Pintea, the fourth subject, spoke about how her life changed through handball and how she is working to use her profile to change more lives.
Finally, wheelchair handball star Joyce van Haaster opened up about how she came back to the sport after her career was ended through cancer.
What is equality for me
The campaign also featured a video featuring EHF Champions League players, both male and female, talking about what equality means to them. Their answers referred to handball but also life in general. The video ran on the EHF social media channels during March 2023.