2021 marked the seventh consecutive year that the European Handball Federation was an official partner of the #BeActive European Week of Sport on 23-30 September, which strives to help everyone - regardless of age, ability or background - to be active.
With the Covid-19 situation varying greatly throughout Europe, the potential for activities in each nation varied with it, meaning the handball community and wider sporting world needed to be creative once again to spread its message and engage people across the continent.
The week was promoted in 41 European nations with over 30,000 registered events giving millions of people the opportunity to be involved in a variety of physical activities and sports, including handball.
As we see the light at the end of the tunnel of the global health crisis, the importance of the #BeActive European Week of Sport is clear to see.
And despite restrictions on large public gatherings in many countries, millions of people around Europe found ways to get moving wherever they were.
As a partner of the campaign, the EHF took part in a live discussion on a Twitter Space hosted by the European Commission on 22 September, the eve of the week’s launch.
A number of national handball federations were busy spreading the good handball word during the campaign and no more so than the Dutch.
In the Netherlands, a national week of sports took place on 17 to 26 September with the NHV running a series of activities throughout the country.
Among the activities were ‘Gooi jij de bal door?’ (‘Do you pass the ball?’), an active teaching program for primary school youth, where children learn the principles of handball, Week of the referee and six introduction clinics for youth in den Bosch and Nieuwegein.
But the standout campaign was NK curbs, a nationwide competition with 100 events, over 30 of which were hosted by handball associations.
In the final, children from more than 100 places competed for the title of 'Champion Stoepranden 2021'.
HandbalNL organised side events in three different places during the event. You could follow a clinic of top handball players, play Goalcha, test how hard you can throw or how well you can aim a shot.
Ambassadors for the campaign, Noah van Wieringen and Zoe Sprengers filmed live from one of the events.
Mini handball in Latvia
The Latvian Handball Federation held a mini handball tournament, an opportunity for children to compete with their peers, promote physical activity and education on maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
This tournament was on 26 September with 32 teams participating (288 players and coaches) and there were almost 70 games played in a single day.
Danish Day of Handball
The Danish Handball Federation had an open house event ‘The Day of Handball’ in 70 clubs all over Denmark on 2 October.
The Danish Day of Handball is an initiative that showed handball to those who are interested in a fun, cosy and informal environment, where everyone can participate.
And on the back of a long shutdown, this year had an even stronger focus on getting everyone back into the community - this applies to players, coaches, parents and volunteers.
70 clubs participated with 397 volunteers and 5460 participants, including an estimated 353 new members recruited.