Imagine you grew up watching the best of the best in your sport. And then, when your own talent starts to blossom, you suddenly meet the greats in person. Not only that… they are there to support you in your holistic athlete development.

This is what Respect Your Talent, co-created by the EHF & TW1N, is about. And this is how legends of the game such as two-times IHF World Player of the Year Ivano Balić help create a new type of legacy in European handball.

“We ambassadors are here to help the young players in the best way we can. My pro tip for the young talents: They should always put the maximum effort in to become an even better player. It is up to young talents to decide how far they can go.”​
Ivano Balić, Croatia

200 young players attend European Summer Tour 2022

In the annual Respect Your Talent Summer Tour, ambassadors inspire talented players alongside international youth tournaments across Europe. In the form of compact workshop sessions, the world’s best handball players give practical insights to the future of European handball on how to improve on and off the court.

A total of six ambassadors have been in action during all seven M20 and M18 EHF EURO and EHF Championship tournaments this summer:

  • M20 EHF EURO in Porto (Portugal) with Victor Tomas (ESP)
  • M20 EHF Championship 1 in Varna (Bulgaria) with Carlos Prieto (ESP)
  • M20 EHF Championship 2 in Varna with Rastko Stojkovic (SRB)
  • M18 EHF EURO in Montenegro (Podgorica) with Ivano Balić (CRO)
  • M18 EHF Championship in Tel Aviv (Israel) with Rastko Stojkovic (SRB)
  • M18 EHF Championship in Riga (Latvia) with Stefan Lövgren (SWE)
  • M18 EHF Championship in Craiova (Romania) with Luka Zvizej (SLO)

The events made it an inspiring summer for 200 talents who were awarded Player of the Match at one of the seven tournaments. They could use the unique opportunity to soak up as much advice and experience as possible from the ambassadors. Overall, more than 1000 aspiring athletes have participated in the Respect Your Talent since 2019.

What’s next?

The programme keeps going strong in the next months. The Respect Your Talent App will be launched later this year, offering digital training sessions dedicated to the development of off-court skills of young players.

Linked, virtual “Ambassador Sessions” are scheduled for autumn 2022 in which teams of 1 ambassador and 1 topical expert will work with talented players in a customised online format.

Finally, the All-star Team players of these year’s summer tournaments can look forward to joining the Respect Your Talent Camp in January 2023, an exclusive off-court training camp held in Vienna for the most talented girls and boys in European handball. In this event, talents get the chance to broaden their knowledge and enhance their skills in most relevant topics such as dual career, sports law, anti-doping, mental fitness, or media.