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Starting Signal for Mini Handball in Turkey

A mood of optimism in Turkish handball: The national federation THF wants to develop mini handball. The reason for this is simple. Turkey needs a larger player pool than before if it wants to progress in handball, says the head of the project, Murat Bilge.

So far, the success of the U17 girls' team, which achieved promotion to the elite European Championships with their second place at the U17 Championships this summer, is the greatest success in Turkish handball. However, the entry of young players is quite late, which is why they now want to expand member recruitment to seven and eight year old children.

Through the mediation of the German Handball Association, was also involved in this youth project: In addition to Julian Bauer and Ina Knobloch, Matthias Kornes, as a lecturer, was tasked with providing impulses for children's training in the coaching seminar.

“This is a very appropriate approach to first focus on the coaches and start the mini handball project with further training for coaches,” says Matthias Kornes.

109 coaches, including many female trainers, accepted the THF's invitation to Ankara and followed the mini trainer seminar there for four days. The concept stipulates that these trainers - whose participation in the seminar is a prerequisite for later participation in the mini handball project! - build a mini team in their hometowns. The goal in the medium term is to build 25 girls' and 25 boys' teams, each with at least twenty players, and to have them train continuously over a period of three years.

The scope is enormous by German standards: 200 training units a year, four a week, have to be offered to the children per year in order to be part of the project!

“The work in Ankara was very exciting,” says Matthias Kornes, who, like Julian Bauer and Ina Knobloch, was happy to see many interested, friendly and open people who were looking for an exchange. The working conditions are also remarkable: As a government organization in Ankara, the THF has its own large sports arena, guest rooms, a large staff and all-round excellent working conditions.

“I hope that our contribution has given mini-handball a strong boost in Turkey,” said Kornes, “I also expect that a lot will happen in children’s handball here in the next few years.” A continuation of the seminar is planned next year year, then the first findings from the work of the coaches on site will be incorporated and the input from the guest experts will be used again for Turkish mini handball.

Pictures: THF

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