This week marks a major milestone in the continued development, progression and innovation of handball as the European Handball Federation (EHF) celebrates its 20th Anniversary.
To celebrate these past 20 years, the anniversary celebrations of the EHF, entitled ‘HeartBeat HandBall’, will be taking place at the prestigious Eventhotel Pyramide in Vösendorf, southern Vienna, Austria throughout this week.
Over 500 guests including past and present players, Presidents, Secretaries General, partners and supporters will be in attendance at the celebrations which include a large number of events and working meetings, culminating with the ‘HeartBeat HandBall Gala’ on Thursday 17 November 2011.
20 Year Celebrations
The EHF was founded in November 1991 in Berlin, Germany – the result of meetings that took place in Madeira (POR) and Manchester (GBR) during 1990 and 1991.
The President of the Swedish federation, Staffan Holmqvist was chosen as the first EHF President; Hans-Jürgen Hinrichs, President of the German Federation, was elected as EHF Vice President and Michael Wiederer, Secretary General of the Austrian Federation, became EHF Secretary General, and with this, the EHF found its home in Vienna.
Starting with Michael as a solitary full-time employee in 1991, the EHF has now grown to a team of over 50 full-time office staff and many officials, referees and associated staff throughout Europe.
In the past 20 years the EHF has overseen the further innovation of the game both on and off the court including the introduction of the EHF EURO, EHF Champions League and VELUX EHF FINAL4 alongside the Professional Handball Board and European Court of Arbitration.
Events such as the VELUX EHF Champions League and EHF EURO now attract millions of fans from across the world and the game continues to grow, develop and evolve.
Speaking ahead of the event, EHF President Tor Lian said: “It gives me great pleasure to look back on the achievements of the EHF during this time of celebration.
“I have been witness to many positive changes within the game and have been lucky enough to meet members of the handball family across Europe. I have also seen a huge amount of hard work and dedication throughout my travels.
“The events to celebrate our 20 years will not only provide a great opportunity for us to look back, but forward, so we can continue to push this wonderful sport to be one of the very best in the world.”
Secretary General, Michael Wiederer, said: “The 20 year anniversary is a fantastic event where the whole European handball family, past and present, can come together to celebrate the fantastic work that has taken place since 1991 – we are 20 years young, not old!
He continued: “HeartBeat HandBall is also an opportunity to look forward to the next 20 years and beyond as the EHF continues to listen to all stakeholders in the game and ensures the innovation, development and growth of the game continues.”