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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Handball Set to Make 2012 Best Games Ever

THE man who will run the Olympic handball competition at the London Games in 2012 has spoken of his confidence that the sport will flourish afterwards.

Alex Gavrilovic, who was also the Handball Manager at the Sydney Olympics in 2000, is meeting up regularly with British Handball officials to help ensure that the 2012 games will prove to be the most successful ever in terms of leaving a legacy for the host nation.

“I didn’t come to London wanting to make some pale copy of Sydney,” he said. “I want this to be a unique London experience, and these games should be remembered for being something special and something very British.

“I felt that I could contribute something to this organisation in terms of experience of bringing a largely unknown sport to the public, and we did that successfully in Sydney and I’m confident we can do that in London too.”

The key to a successful legacy will be the readiness of England Handball and Scotland Handball to cope with a large influx of enquiries from people wanting to play handball, and Gavrilovic added: “British Handball is more advanced than Australian Handball but they don’t have the same structure in terms of separate home nations.

“The real challenge here will be what happens post games, the readiness of the governing bodies for the influx of interest from people who have seen the sport.

“I don’t believe that Australia took advantage of that as well as they could’ve, and we’re determined not to repeat those mistakes.

“Having the venues set up and ready early give us a good opportunity to test and prepare for the Olympics to be what I hope will be the best ever. That’s our aim.

“There needs to be a strong English speaking Western nation playing handball. America have had a go at this with Atlanta and Los Angeles before that, we’ve had a go in Sydney and now it’s Britain’s turn. And if it can be a success it will pull other nations along, and help across the Commonwealth too.”

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