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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Euro 2010: Britain Invades Europe!

GREAT Britain invaded Europe last week with handball fans, officials and players travelling to witness the thrilling finals of the 2010 Women’s European Championships in Denmark and Norway.

British people were working in several areas of the competition, as the growth of the sport in Britain continues to gather pace.

The European Handball Federation’s Head of Media and Communications is JJ Rowland who played an important part in staging the event, while British Handball’s Honorary Vice President Paul Bray was commentating for the EHF website’s live coverage.

British Handball Media Volunteer Andrew McSteen was editing the competition website, while England Handball official Miriam Pupalova was involved with tournament statistics.

Also at the event was British Handball’s official photographer Michele Davison, while BHA chief executive Paul Goodwin and EHA chairman Mike Briers were guests of the Norwegian Handball Federation.
GB women’s team head coach Jesper Holmris, captain Lynn McCafferty, and GB men’s team player Sebastian Prieto were also at the tournament.

And even among the non-British people at the event, much of the talk in the halls and bars was of the Great Britain women’s team, who beat Slovakia during the first week of the competition, which was split between Denmark and Norway.

After watching Norway win the European Championship, Lynn McCafferty said: I’m a bit awestruck being here. I’m a big handball fan so to watch Norway play is something else. And to play against them in the Olympics… well, you’ll have to ask me nearer the time as it feels unbelievable.

“It’s great to be here and watch it live and see the atmosphere. Obviously I’m a little bit jealous that I’m not on court playing. Handball is such a big sport here in Denmark and Norway and it would be great if it was a big in other places as it is here.”

And BHA chief executive Paul Goodwin said: “Whilst in Lillehammer we received many compliments for the progress our teams are making, not least from Marit Breivik, the celebrated Women’s national coach for Norway.”

Goodwin and Briers were invited to the event by Karle-Arne Johannessen, president of the Norwegian Handball Federation, to attend the matches between France and Slovenia and Norway and Hungary.
They were part of a 9,000-strong crowd who witnessed victories for France and Norway, with the hosts going forward to the next stage of the finals.

They met with officials from the Norwegian federation and discussed co-operation opportunities ranging from International competition to commercial opportunities and development support.

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