Successful graduation as European Handball Manager in Corona times

Some of the 14 graduates* of the European Handball Manager with programme leader Dr. Stefan Walzel (top left)
Some of the 14 graduates* of the European Handball Manager with programme leader Dr. Stefan Walzel (top left)

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the existence of many sports organisations is currently heavily dependent on the sports managers. A sound education in sports management helps to overcome crises and other challenges in handball sports organisations. For this reason, the European Handball Federation together with the German Sport University Cologne introduced the European Handball Manager course a few years ago. The fifth cohort has just successfully completed the course. 14 participants have demonstrated their acquired knowledge and its application in a written and oral examination.

Due to the Corona pandemic, the third and final attendance phase of the European Handball Manager had to be postponed from May to August. This included the written and oral exams for the successful completion of the certificate program. "Particularly in the oral examinations, the participants also had to demonstrate how they could apply their knowledge to the current corona situation in the handball clubs, be it in the management of sponsorship relationships, strategic management or controlling," reported the head of the programme, Dr Stefan Walzel. Frank von Behren, former national handball player and now Managing Director Sport at the handball Bundesliga club GWD Minden, confirms this: "In some situations I was already able to apply the acquired knowledge very well and that really helped me with one or the other decision".

Kay Holm passed both exams with outstanding distinction and received the certificate of honour for excellent performances. In his role as refereeing supervisor of the German Handball Federation, he is able to apply the various contents of the European Handball Manager and has gained a broader view of his activities. "Understanding the structures, organisation, strategies and marketing in the federation or clubs and transferring them to my area of responsibility gives me new ideas for potential changes, e.g. for professionalisation within the framework of refereeing," he concludes.

In addition to the exams, the participants also completed a media and communication training with the well-known German sports TV presenter Valeska Homburg and Dr. Christoph Bertling from the German Sports University Cologne. Many handball managers are still unaccustomed to dealing with journalists and behaving in front of the camera, so they were able to benefit from the experience of the two media experts.

The sixth cohort of the European Handball Manager has already started the self-study phase. 14 participants from Europe, Africa and North America have started the study and want to celebrate a successful completion in one year. Until then, however, they must first deal with the basics of sports law and sports economics as well as marketing and financing issues. In the coming year, the 100th graduate is also expected to obtain the degree of European Handball Manager.

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