Stanislav Pozdnyakov discussed the development of handball with Michael Wiederer

Today, 20 February, the President of the ROC held a working meeting with the head of the European Handball Federation (EHF) Michael Wiederer and the Director General of the Russian Handball Federation Lev Voronin. The parties discussed prospects for cooperation, as well as implementing joint projects in Russia.

– The European Handball Federation has been good to the Russian Olympic movement, – Stanislav Pozdnyakov emphasized. – We have had the opportunity to discuss the development of handball both in Russia and Europe. And figure out how we can help each other.

Michael Wiederer confirmed that the EHF has very good relations with the Russian side at technical and practical levels.

– Handball is, first and foremost, a European sport. Sometimes even we regret this, as we would like to see it played on other continents, – said the president of EHF. – Therefore, in regard to handball, a major role is played by the European championships, as well as European club competitions. I am glad that Russian teams play a very important role in them. We have developed productive cooperation with the Russian Handball Federation, and we are pleased with this development.

The Director General of the Russian Handball Federation Lev Voronin thanked the EHF and ROC for the opportunity presented to his federation in order to organize Master Coach courses – the first module was held at the end of December, and the second module is scheduled for June 2020. Instead of the originally planned 10-15 members, about 40 specialists from all over Europe were in attendance.

– Furthermore, in order to popularize handball, it would be great to hold a major continental championship in Russia, – continued Lev Voronin. – Russia knows how to host sports events at the highest level. In particular, the Russian Handball Federation has repeatedly organized European and world championships. For example, the latest European beach handball tournament was held in Kazan. So we have experience in this area.

Michael Wiederer admitted that he liked this proposal, but in this case the decision will have to be made collectively by the national federations.

– The EHF has tried several times to give its Executive Committee the right to determine the venue for continental tournaments, but the national federations prefer to retain these powers to themselves, – the official said. – On my part, I can only confirm that we would like to see major competitions held in Russia.

Stanislav Pozdnyakov assured the President of the EHF that colleagues from the Russian Handball Federation have received all the necessary material and organizational support.

– Having the experience of organizing the Olympic Games and the World Cup, Russia is always open to hosting major handball competitions.

The participants of the meeting also addressed the issues of marketing and promotion of handball. Michael Wiederer admitted that earlier the EHF did not pay enough attention to this aspect, however, with the signing of a 10-year marketing agreement in 2017, efforts are being made to change this situation.

The President of the ROC also noted the high marketing attractiveness of handball and the importance of educational programmes such as the Master Coach courses.

– In our modern world, borders between countries and peoples are blurring. That is why, it is important for us if foreign experts and coaches come to Russia to share their experience. At the same time, as a major sports country, we have great potential that could be utilized by the EHF by including our specialists in various commissions and committees of the organization. You can consider the Russian Olympic Committee and the Russian Handball Federation your reliable partners, – concluded Stanislav Pozdnyakov.

Mr. Wiederer expressed satisfaction on cooperating with the Russian side at the expert level and noted the importance of cooperation in terms of training specialists who are well-versed not only in sports, but also in business.

– I absolutely agree that professionals play a crucial role. And our common task is not only to develop a specific sport, but also to train new specialists in sports management, – added Stanislav Pozdnyakov.

– It is precisely these problems that have been successfully solved by the Russian International Olympic University for 10 years. We can use RIOU as a platform for the exchange of experience and the development of sports management.