Respect Your Talent grows with big stars on board
Following the launch of the Respect Your Talent project in mid-2019, the initiative is now in its second iteration of women’s Younger Age Category events as the W19 and W17 EHF EUROs as well as the W17 and W19 EHF Championships take place over the summer. In addition, the men’s project is launching this summer as the M19 EHF EURO and EHF Championships are played.
As such, a number of new ambassadors are joining the project. On the men’s side, Barça legend Victor Tomas (Spain), Vid Kavticnik (Slovenia) and Carlos Prieto Martos (Spain) are the first ambassadors.
The women’s arm of the Respect Your Talent project has been supported since 2019 by Stine Oftedal (Norway), Ana Gros (Slovenia), Anja Althaus (Germany), Johanna Ahlm (Sweden) and Nerea Pena (Spain). In 2021, Andrea Lekic (Serbia), Katarina Bulatovic (Montenegro) and Jelena Grubisic (Croatia) are welcomed to the list of female ambassadors.
Over 600 new players to join Respect Your Talent
The Respect Your Talent project was introduced based on an initiative of the Women’s Handball Board and was initially aimed at encouraging the personal development of talented female handball players. Now, it has expanded to include male players — a step intended to be taken in 2020 before the rescheduling of YAC men’s events due to Covid-19.
The project objective is to promote the passion for handball in young players as well as to identify talented players and to track their careers and support them in their development on and off court. More than 200 players were part of the project in the first iteration; in 2021, over 200 male players and more than 400 female players will join the project. From each YAC event, every Player of the Match as well as the members of the respective All-star Teams will be included.
On the fringe of the YAC events held in the summer of 2021, the ambassadors will support the project by taking part in Respect Your Talent activity days together with the identified players. In addition, a camp will be held later in 2021 for All-star Team members selected at the various YAC events.
Following the identification of the first players welcomed to the project in 2019, the concept was to follow in particular the All-star Teams’ MVPs throughout the season, sharing their progress on the EHF’s social media channels. For example, since 2019, we have seen W17 EHF EURO 2019 MVP Elena Mikhaylichenko — also MVP of the 2018 Youth World Championship — participate in the Women’s EHF EURO 2020 with Russia and enjoy considerable success on a club level. The same coverage will apply for newcomers going forward.
A Respect Your Talent toolkit has also been developed and published. The toolkit includes, among other topics, information on media communication, use of social media, dual career, anti-doping and fair play. This will form a core part of the future education and training for all coming intakes of the Respect Your Talent project.