Germany

Markus Plazer is new Handball Austria president

Markus Plazer became the new president of Austrian Handball Federation since June 26.

You have been a functionary in the association since 1993, most recently as Vice President. You have been president of the association for eleven days. What importance do you attach to this office?

Markus Plazer : “I am very proud to be able to take on this role. The president is elected by the members of the association and I am particularly pleased that the nomination for my person was unanimously accepted. It is a difficult legacy to take on. Gerhard Hofbauer left a formative and always positive impression. I strive to also exemplify the principles that he lived and I am positive that I can succeed with my around 30 years of experience on the board of the ÖHB, as well as in various functions in the IHF and EHF. I will bring all of these experiences to my role, in the sense of Austrian handball, in order to continue the successful path of the association. “

The board of directors has not only changed in terms of personnel, but also structurally – six instead of the previous five members of the board of directors (note: incl. ÖHB general secretary Bernd Rabenseifner), the position “sport” has been divided into top and popular sport, the position “law” abolished and created a new one with the position “Training & Events”. What are the aspirations behind these changes?

Markus Plazer: “Separating the area of ​​sport into elite and popular sport was a major concern of the members. We have seen that this task is overwhelming for one person alone and that an area, be it top-class or popular sport, could take a back seat. Top sport needs popular sport and vice versa, which is why we have divided these tasks in the new board of directors. The idea behind this is of course to gain more members, increase the number of clubs, create the necessary infrastructure and also promote training and professionalism within the clubs. Not only those of the players, but especially of officials, referees and all of the association’s members. We have seen in international match operations how important a professional approach is in order to be able to exercise and practice our sport in the best possible way. The position of Vice-President Law has been abolished as we have outsourced the legal area to an appeal and a handball court. With this we want to grant more independence. The position of Vice President Training & Events is new, as we have noticed in the past, in particular by hosting major events in our own country, that someone is needed on the Board of Directors who is professionally involved in the organization and implementation of events, both internationally as well as in-house. ” because we have outsourced the legal area to an appeal and a handball court. With this we want to grant more independence. The position of Vice President Training & Events is new, as we have noticed in the past, in particular by hosting major events in our own country, that someone is needed on the Board of Directors who is professionally involved in the organization and implementation of events, both internationally as well as in-house. ” because we have outsourced the legal area to an appeal and a handball court. With this we want to grant more independence. The position of Vice President Training & Events is new, as we have noticed in the past, in particular by hosting major events in our own country, that someone is needed on the Board of Directors who is professionally involved in the organization and implementation of events, both internationally as well as in-house. “

There is a lot of work waiting for the new board of directors right from the start. In the summer there are three European youth championships, for which the local youth could qualify. The women’s World Cup awaits in December and the men’s EURO in January. What are the tasks for you and your team?

Markus Plazer: “The board of directors has the task of creating the best possible conditions. Both for qualification, preparation and participation in a major event itself. Everyone has their own area of ​​responsibility. It is also the task of the board of directors to represent Austria internationally in the best possible way. Not only by athletes but also by officials. Particularly at major events and tournaments, connections are made that are essential for the future. As far as the upcoming tournaments are concerned, we are particularly proud of our women’s national team, which was able to qualify for a World Cup again after a long dry spell. I would like to take this opportunity to once again congratulate the entire team and supervisory staff. That does not mean, that we are already used to qualifying with men. The team withstood the pressure impressively and we are pleased that the team managed to successfully qualify for the European Championship again. Behind all these successes, both in the senior squad and in the junior national teams, there is an immense amount of effort. Especially during the pandemic, when there were a lot of restrictions in terms of training, preparation and the implementation of test and qualifying games. It is therefore all the more outstanding that all national teams have successfully qualified for the upcoming major events. ” Behind all these successes, both in the senior squad and in the junior national teams, there is an immense amount of effort. Especially during the pandemic, when there were a lot of restrictions in terms of training, preparation and the implementation of test and qualifying games. It is therefore all the more outstanding that all national teams have successfully qualified for the upcoming major events. ” Behind all these successes, both in the senior squad and in the junior national teams, there is an immense amount of effort. Especially during the pandemic, when there were a lot of restrictions in terms of training, preparation and the implementation of test and qualifying games. It is therefore all the more outstanding that all national teams have successfully qualified for the upcoming major events. “

What goals has the new Board of Directors set for its term of office?

Markus Plazer: “At this point in time, goals can only be defined in general terms and these are similar among the professional associations. We want to increase the number of members and clubs, improve our marketing and find new sponsors. The board of directors will soon go into retreat to define concrete goals and the form in which we can achieve them. During the pandemic, we saw that sponsors, understandably, have dropped out or it is extremely difficult to find new ones. It will therefore also be the task of the board of directors to be active here and to find new sponsors for the association. We will not be satisfied with sponsoring sports alone. Sports funding is earmarked, everything that we do beyond that has to be financed by other means. The fact is that we are dependent on external factors. First and foremost on money and secondly on the number of players who are available for their respective age groups. But we are also dependent on officials, trainers, physiotherapists and many more. Everything plays together here and here too, goals must be defined to motivate more people to be available to Austrian handball. “

What can you expect from the new board of directors and what leadership style will you personally adopt?

Markus Plazer : “First and foremost, a board of directors has to provide the best possible care for its members. Gerhard Hofbauer has shown us in the past how you can bring together different aspirations and opinions, be it from the regional associations, the league representatives or the clubs, and find a middle ground. We also saw at our first board meeting after our election, when the aim was to create new structures, that you can always come to a consensus that is determined and established in accordance with democratic principles. With regard to this point in particular, I will try to continue on the previous path. “

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