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.