Handball legends pass on knowledge to next generation

Talented handball players from 10 European countries gathered alongside the EHF EURO 2022. At the Respect Your Talent Camp, co-conducted by the European Handball Federation (EHF) & TW1N, they were given the unique opportunity to work with former stars of the game.

From 20-22 January, the Respect Your Talent Camp 2022 was held in Budapest. While Europe’s best teams are battling for a medal on the court, some of the biggest male talents on the continent are investing in their off-court development to advance their young handball careers, being supported by the Respect Your Talent ambassadors Carlos Prieto (Spain), Laszlo Nagy (Hungary), Vid Kavticnik (Slovenia) and Stefan Lövgren (Sweden).

All connected

The didactical approach of Respect Your Talent, designed by TW1N, elevates the concept of role models. Promoting the holistic development of young players’ careers, handball stars pass on their unique knowledge to the future generation of European handball. In collaboration with leading field experts such as Maria Grunwald, Simona Margetic, Andreas Joklik, Hans Holdhaus, Bojana Jelicic, and Respect Your Talent co-creator Wolfgang Stockinger, the ambassadors held a set of interactive training sessions, covering the topics Dual Career, Mental Fitness, Media, Anti-Doping and Sports Law.

In the programme's belief, this approach contributes to both sustainable pathways and athletic performance as systematic off-court development substantially impacts personal and sporting developments.

“We recognize the need to support young players in their challenging development stage. The unique setting with ambassadors sharing their experiences and passion for handball with the young players is the best way to inspire and prepare them for their pro career.”
Michael Wiederer, EHF President

Having just retired last summer, former EHF Champions League winner Vid Kavticnik is aware of the importance of these topics for young players:

“I am happy and proud to be part of the ambassadors team where we are all trying to help and shape young handball diamonds. I strongly believe that this program is a game changer for many of the talents on their mission to become a pro player."

This approach seems to have substantially resonated with the talented players in Budapest:

“I think that via this camp I developed some skills that will definitely help me off and on-court. These 3 days were great and I hope that there will be more camps in the future because this was a big opportunity for us to improve our careers and success.”
Alexandru Mihai Pasca, Romania

Class of 2021 members shine at EURO

Some of the players who have been part of our Respect Your Talent activities in 2021 have already made it to the highest level of European handball. Tamas Smetanka (Slovakia), Marko Mitev (North Macedonia), Ihar Bialiausk and Kyril Samoila (Belarus) can be seen on the courts of the EHF EURO 2022.

Photo © Jure Erzen / kolektiff

Youngsters learn and get inspired at Respect Your Talent Camp

A total of 26 "Players of the Match" awarded at the Women’s 17 EHF EURO and Championships 2021 have ended their year on another high, attending the Respect Your Talent Camp in Austria, co-created by the European Handball Federation (EHF) and TW1N.

Arriving from 18 different European countries, the players gathered in Vienna from 16-18 December to meet and learn from four Respect Your Talent ambassadors: Andrea Lekic, Anja Althaus, Jelena Grubisic and Ana Gros.

In his opening statement, EHF Secretary General Martin Hausleitner encouraged the players to invest in their talent:

“Talent only is not enough to succeed. Improving your off-court skills will help you build your personality, increase balance in your life and thereby become an even better player. With Respect Your Talent, we support the idea of handball players as whole person-athletes. Looking at their impressive pathways, our ambassadors are perfect role models to convey this idea authentically.”

From dual career to mental fitness

The ambassadors Lekic, Althaus, Grubisic and Gros - in partnership with international experts, including Respect Your Talent co-creator and TW1N Founder & CEO Wolfgang Stockinger - inspired the players throughout six hands-on training sessions in dual career, media, social media, sports law, anti-doping, and mental fitness.

The young talents were given the unique opportunity of personal interaction with the ambassadors, benefiting from their extraordinary first-hand experience as professional handball players. Exchanging with other aspiring players from all over Europe and making new friends within the international handball community was the icing of the cake of this event, which drew positive feedback from both players and ambassadors.

“It was the most incredible experience of my life. Meeting other athletes, girls just like me, who love handball above all things. The knowledge that I bring with me, in my head and in my heart, is unbelievable. Don’t have words to express my gratitude. Congratulations to all of you... well done! Wonderful organisation, nice people.”
Luciana Rebelo (Talented player from Portugal)

The camp ended with a proud look at the Women’s IHF World Championship 2021 and the fact that progress in a handball career may come very fast – if talents have prepared themselves properly for their big steps: with Paula Arcos (Spain), Larissa Nusser (Netherlands) and Elena Mikhaylichenko (Russia), three players of the Respect Your Talent 2019 campaign played in a direct duel against their former ambassadors Stine Oftedal and Ana Gros.

Up next are the boys: the Respect Your Talent Camp for the M19 EHF EURO/Championships 2021 generation will take place in January 2022 at Bratislava, Slovakia.

Photo © Uros Hocevar / kolektiff

RESPECT YOUR TALENT Celje Slovenia 2021

RESPECT YOUR TALENT starts European Summer Tour

The world's best handball players inspire talented players alongside international youth tournaments across Europe: This is the central idea of the RESPECT YOUR TALENT Summer Tour 2021. Throughout July and August, more than 600 aspiring athletes will directly benefit from their role models' experience.

In the form of compact workshop sessions designed by TW1N, the RESPECT YOUR TALENT Ambassadors give practical insights to the future of European handball on how to improve on and off the court, covering topics such as dual career, mental performance, anti-doping, media or sports law.

Tour start in Slovenia, Italy and North Macedonia

This month, RESPECT YOUR TALENT kicked off its Summer Tour in Slovenia, Italy and North Macedonia, featuring the Ambassadors Andrea Lekić, Katarina Bulatovic and Anja Althaus. In August, we will bring our Summer events to seven more European countries.

"It was really nice that Andrea Lekić was here. She taught us things about ourselves, our talent, and I think I will respect myself and my talent even more now."

Erin Novak, Slovenian Under-19 National Team Player

Find out more about the programme on respectyourtalent.eurohandball.com.


Work in progress: The RESPECT YOUR TALENT App

RESPECT YOUR TALENT, co-created by the European Handball Federation and TW1N, promotes the holistic development of talented players’ careers. In the programme’s pioneering approach, the world’s best handball players supported by leading field experts inspire and instruct young athletes. Increasing the scope of the programme, TW1N is leading the design and development of the RESPECT YOUR TALENT App; a digital space for self-development for young handball players.

The App will provide Europe's handball talents with small-sized training sessions in the areas of dual career, mental health, media, anti-doping and sports law. A scenario-based approach identifies concrete challenges, talented players face in their young athletic careers. Subsequently, a team of internationally recognized experts will create tailored micro-learning units to help aspiring players deal with these challenges. The consortium features Hans Holdhaus (Anti-Doping), Bojana Jelicic (Mental Health), Andreas Joklik (Sports Law), Thomas Schöneich (Media), and TW1N Founder & CEO Wolfgang Stockinger (Dual Career).

The RESPECT YOUR TALENT App will be launched in December 2021.


New website RESPECT YOUR TALENT

Introducing the new digital home of RESPECT YOUR TALENT

RESPECT YOUR TALENT is a trailblazing talent support programme co-created by the European Handball Federation (EHF) and TW1N to promote the holistic development of talented players’ careers; on and off the handball court. This week, the brand new online environment of RESPECT YOUR TALENT was launched on the Home of Handball.

In the programme’s pioneering approach, the world’s best handball players supported by leading field experts inspire and instruct young athletes covering topics such as dual career, well-being, integrity of sport, media or sports law. Furthermore, the programme will serve as a central source of competence, assisting the European handball family with training, research and network opportunities to foster sustainable pathways of aspiring players.

"Handball talents who dedicate themselves to a competitive pathway deserve to be supported. While a pleasure, I feel also honoured to play a part in this programme."

Stefan Lövgren - RESPECT YOUR TALENT Ambassador

 

New online activities in 2021

RESPECT YOUR TALENT has found its dedicated space on the Home of Handball of the EHF. Handball talents, their sporting, academic and private entourage, as well as interested fans can find a wealth of information regarding the programme’s unique activities. The digital environment thereby offers new possibilities to the programme.

Fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic, RESPECT YOUR TALENT will soon introduce a set of online activities alongside its established on-site formats. In so-called "Ambassador Sessions", a unique team of world handball stars and topical experts will work with talented players in customized online workshop formats. Moreover, the RESPECT YOUR TALENT Toolkit will be created; a digital space for self- development which offers talented players and their support network manifold resources that help boost young handball careers on and off the court.

Get informed, get inspired! Visit the new RESPECT YOUR TALENT Website on the Home of Handball here.


EHF Katarina Pandza

On 27-29 October 2020, the European Handball Federation (EHF) will host the European Handball Online Summit. TW1N is delighted to be among the international speakers.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of initiatives for Grassroots Handball were shut down or not able to proceed. Therefore, the EHF wants to provide the handball community with a new type of event that was especially created to target the Grassroots Handball community.

TW1N Keynote EHOS

For the grassroots

The European Handball Online Summit will be organized as a virtual event. The aim of the summit is to transfer expert knowledge to the handball basis. Renowned European experts in different fields of practice (spanning youth training, sponsoring or marketing) will share their knowledge with officials, coaches, club and federation coordinators as well as athletes. TW1N founder & CEO Wolfgang Stockinger is invited to address the dual career keynote.

Find detailed information on the EHOS at the official summit website.

© Anze Malovrh / kolektiff

Nations' and clubs' representatives from all over Europe met in Vienna, Austria for the WHF Conference for Strengthening the Women’s Handball Network. In a joint approach with the European Handball Federation, TW1N was honoured to present the commonly developed RESPECT YOUR TALENT programme to the international public.

The conference provided updates on the European women’s handball strategic objectives. Within these, RESPECT YOUR TALENT takes on an important role. The programme assists (here: female) talented athletes to better cope with the current demands of competitive youth handball, and, proactively prepare for the upcoming demands of professional handball.

To this end, in the programme’s pioneering approach, the world’s best handball players supported by leading field experts inspire and instruct young athletes covering topics such as dual career, well-being, integrity of sport, media or sports law.

TW1N is responsible for the methodical and dedactical concept of RESPECT YOUR TALENT. Find more information on the programme here.

 

RESPECT YOUR TALENT Keynote
TW1N Founder & CEO Wolfgang Stockinger at the WHF Conference 2020 © EHF

RESPECT YOUR TALENT has been an affair of the heart for TW1N in 2019. Together with the European Handball Federation (EHF), we launched this programme to take responsibility for the sustainable development of talented players across Europe, on and off the court.

Didactically, the programme aims to break new grounds. In our approach, the world's best handball players inspire young athletes in a joint effort with leading experts. These sport stars act as true ambassadors of dual career and the realization of meaningful life aside from their athletic career.

 

Inspiring the future of European handball

After a successful Summer Tour, last week, the first ever EHF RESPECT YOUR TALENT Camp was held in Vienna. In 5 training sessions, 30 female players from 18 European countries had the chance to work with Olympic champion and professional photographer Kari Aalvik Grimsbø, Champions League winner and economics & finance master’s degree holder Jelena Grubišić, French Championship top scorer 2018 and tourism student Ana Gros, IHF World Player of the Year 2013 and handball academy operator Andrea Lekic, as well as Champions League winner Anja Althaus, trained technician and hairdresser.

"Given their own pathways, the RESPECT YOUR TALENT ambassadors are true role models when it comes to personal development on and off the court."

Wolfgang Stockinger
Co-Creator of RESPECT YOUR TALENT

Learning from the best: the RESPECT YOUR TALENT "Ambassador Islands" © Uros Hocevar/kolektiff

Dual career, anti-doping, sports law, on-camera and social media training

On day 1, TW1N Founder & CEO Wolfgang Stockinger, who acts as the EHF’s Scientific Specialist on Dual Careers, and the Slovenian national team captain Ana Gros inspired the participants how education and skills outside of handball cannot only help their future vocational career but also their athletic development. Raising awareness of doping controls and procedures were then explained in detail by five-time EHF EURO champion Kari Aalvik Grimsbo and anti-doping expert Prof. Hans Holdhaus.

The following day, the camp focused on dealing with the media, concretely the use of social media and sports law. Anja Althaus and award-winning Austrian sports journalist Karoline Zobernig advised the group on how to handle media requests and answering difficult questions in interviews. The girls were then introduced to the world of social media by Andrea Lekic and the EHF’s Digital Content Manager Berenice Rallier. The pair discussed the best ways of creating content, explained what to post and what not post and gave guidance on how to protect their accounts. Signing and negotiating contracts, the dangers of match-fixing and choosing an agent were the topics explained by Jelena Grubišić. Joined by Andreas Joklik, the EHF expert for sports law, the two gave the group the lowdown on these key subjects which are often overlooked by young players.

On-camera training with Karoline Zobernig © Uros Hocevar/kolektiff

The camp also gave the girls opportunity to meet each other and the project ambassadors in a more relaxing environment. On both days, they had the opportunity to explore the Austrian capital and visit some of the most popular city attractions like the Vienna Giant Ferris wheel and the renowned Viennese Christmas market. They also learned something completely different: how to make the perfect apple strudel – an Austrian favourite.

Team building Austrian style: strudel baking at Castle Schönbrunn © Uros Hocevar/kolektiff

RESPECT YOUR TALENT continues in 2020

After our Summer Tour across Europe and the first RESPECT YOUR TALENT Camp, our project will continue in 2020 at the Men’s 18 and 20 EHF EUROs and EHF Championships. In total, seven competitions will be held over the summer of 2020 starting in July with M20 EHF EURO in Innsbruck (AUT) and Brixen (ITA) and continue with the M20 EHF Championships in Bugojno (BIH) and Riga (LAT). August will bring M18 EHF EURO in Celje (SLO) and three M18 EHF Championships in Burgas (BUL), Skopje (MKD) and Podgorica (MNE).

Happy end: the RESPECT YOUR TALENT ambassadors & Wolfgang Stockinger © Uros Hocevar/kolektiff
Stine Oftedal, EHF. TW1N, Respect your talent, Summer Tour 2019

RESPECT YOUR TALENT Summer Tour 2019

6 European countries, 6 tournaments, more than 300 participating aspiring players: The RESPECT YOUR TALENT Summer Tour 2019 of the European Handball Federation (EHF) and TW1N has come to a successful end.

During each event, players were awarded "Players of the Match" to get the chance to attend TW1N-designed workshops held by some of Europe's greatest female handball players. Our RESPECT YOUR TALENT ambassadors Stine Bredal Oftedal (Norway), Anja Althaus (Germany), Nerea Pena (Spain), Ana Gros (Slovenia) and Johanna Alhm (Sweden) were most authentic role models inspiring young European players to develop as a whole person and not only as an athlete.

Kick Off in Győr

Audi Arena Győr was the host of the first RESPECT YOUR TALENT activity day on 18 July featuring 40 players at the Women’s 19 EHF EURO. The selected players had the opportunity to hear valuable tips from the Norwegian and Győri Audi ETO KC centre back Stine Bredal Oftedal.

"I took more years to finish my bachelor’s degree; instead of three, I did it in five. I just tried to use my time, be disciplined. I also feel that it is good to focus on something else for a while and I really felt like I could do that.”

Stine Bredal Oftedal
Handball world champion 2011 & 2015

 


RESPECT YOUR TALENT logo cut

EHF & TW1N launch RESPECT YOUR TALENT

A dual career comes with a series of simultaneous transitions and developments happening on athletic, educational, psychological or psycho-social level. For athletes, it takes a great amount of management, self-regulation, career planning and social skills to be able to stay on this ambitious road and keep direction. To foster sustainable pathways of handball talents across Europe and to help these young players grow on and off the court, the European Handball Federation (EHF) and TW1N have created the international programme "RESPECT YOUR TALENT". 

RESPECT YOUR TALENT aims to support the personal development of European aspiring handball playersTW1N takes pride in having designed the methodical and dedactical concept of the project. In an innovative learning approach, the world’s best handball players act as teachers of young athletes.

RESPECT YOUR TALENT Summer Tour 2019

Summer 2019 will see our RESPECT YOUR TALENT Kick Off Events all over Europe. The EHF and TW1N are honoured to have won world-class handball players such as Stine Oftedal (Norway), Ana Gros (Slovenia), Anja Althaus (Germany), Johanna Ahlm (Sweden) or Nerea Pena (Spain) as RESPECT YOUR TALENT ambassadors. These high-level role models will lead TW1N-designed-workshops alongside 6 European tournaments to encourage young talents to take on responsibility for their own careers, both from a personal and an athletic point of view. In the next months, RESPECT YOUR TALENT will add further activities to its programme.

  • 11-21 July 2019: Women’s 19 EHF EURO 2019 in Hungary
  • 13-21 July 2019: Women’s 19 EHF Championship in Bulgaria
  • 15-21 July 2019: Women’s 19 EHF Championship in Lithuania
  • 1-11 August 2019: Women’s 17 EHF EURO in Slovenia
  • 3-11 August 2019: Women’s 17 EHF Championship in Georgia
  • 3-11 August 2019: Women’s 17 EHF Championship in Italy

References

  • Wylleman, P., Alfermann, D. & Lavallee, D. (2004): Career transitions in sport: European perspectives. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 5 (1), pp. 7-20