Dembélé Pavlović ready to take up RYT ambassador role

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EHF / Adrian Costeiu

With 291 matches for France women’s national team and 848 goals scored throughout that span, Siraba Dembélé Pavlović is surely one of the most experienced players in the history of a team which has won it all over the last two decades.

A former captain of France and a player who has also written history in the EHF Champions League Women, Dembélé Pavlović bade goodbye to her playing career this summer, after finishing her contract with Romanian powerhouse CSM București, where she won the domestic double.

Yet the former left wing cannot stay away from the court and accepted an invitation to be an ambassador for the Respect Your Talent programme, being present at the W17 EHF Championship Player of the Match event in Türkiye.

”I could not say no to such an invitation, because handball was my life and I owe everything to handball, therefore helping young players fulfil their potential is an exciting proposition. They have more access to information and play in a different environment from the one which my generation grew up in, therefore they have a big chance to become better and better,” says Dembélé Pavlović.

In 10 seasons in the EHF Champions League Women, Dembélé Pavlović scored 346 goals for Toulon, Randers HK, Rostov-Don, Vardar and CSM Bucuresti, and was named the All-star left wing of the premier European competition two times; in 2015 and 2018.

She was also a world champion with France, in 2017, and also struck gold at the EHF EURO in 2018, when “Les Bleues” won the trophy at home, in Paris, where she was a key ingredient as captain of the team.

But what can Dembélé Pavlović bring to the table in the Respect Your Talent programme?

“I think my experience is big enough as a player to talk about different situations, both off and on the court, to share some useful things, some tips about how to become better and take care of yourself in different situations. It is an exciting role for me, to continue being near the court, to continue being near handball,” adds the French former left wing.

“I am eager to share the information I have, the experiences I had in handball and I am just happy to be there with some very talented players.”

The Respect Your Talent programme will be in full swing once again in August, after former stars - like Anja Althaus - or current heroes like Jovanka Radicevic, Beatrice Edwige and Carmen Martin were present during the W19 EHF EURO and the W19 EHF Championships in July.

In every game of the three competitions, a Player of the Match is selected for each team, with all those players being introduced to the Respect Your Talent programme.

In those events, the young talents will be guided and will learn about the importance of off-court topics such as the media, sports law, anti-doping, mental fitness, dual career and nutrition, as well as receiving precious advice from the ambassadors, who will share stories and their experiences in handball.

“Having such a programme can help young players develop even further, which is something we all want for handball, because knowledge and taking care of yourself even from a young age is very important,” concludes Dembélé Pavlović.

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