When the final whistle sounds in the TAURON Arena in Sunday evening, there will be a new European champion – for men. The new women’s European champion will be crowned later this year, in December in Sweden.
With 309 days until the opening ceremony of the Women’s EHF EURO 2016, Matilda Boson, the marketing manager for the event, presented media in Poland with a preview of what to expect at the premiere continental competition on Saturday.
“It’s extremely nice to be here in Poland and to feel the atmosphere,” said Boson, who is a former Swedish international herself. “I hope we can take just a few things from here.”
Boson said they look forward to an innovative championship as she explained the tagline for the tournament: ‘Pure Heart. All Hands’.
The ‘Pure Heart’ aspect is all about the emotions of handball, tying in with the tagline for the Men’s EHF EURO 2016: ‘Feel the Emotions’.
“In 60 minutes you are happy, you are sad, you are mad,” said Boson. “To be a top handball player you have to invest your whole heart.”
‘All Hands’ refers to the different groups that come together to create a successful tournament: the teams, the spectators, the organisers, the media and the volunteers.
“To make sure that this tournament is the party we want it to be we need everyone,” said Boson.
Four handball-mad host cities
Four cities have been chosen to host the event, and each has their own ambassador from the Sweden women’s team.
Isabell Gullden, the Most Valuable Player at the EHF EURO 2014, is the event ambassador, while Nathalie Hagman represents and promotes the event in her native Stockholm and Linnea Torstensson is the ambassador for Kristianstad.
The remaining three group phase host cities are Malmo, Helsingborg and Gothenburg. The main round will be held in Gothenburg and Helsingborg, and the final weekend will be in handball-crazy Goteborg.
The final weekend in Gothenburg will feature a big event zone, open to everyone – not only ticket holders – free of charge. Here there will be activities, entertainment, and much more, designed to bring the event closer to those who are not attending matches.
One innovation for the Women’s EHF EURO 2016 is the ticket selling concept, where the organisers encourage children to help promote the event by selling tickets. For every ticket sold, the children receive 50 Kroner towards their handball club. Already some teams have earned enough money to be able to attend tournaments they have never been able to before due to finances.
With 30,000 tickets already booked the event is looking to be a big success, though the ultimate goal is to sell 100,000 tickets.
The final draw will be held on 10 June, and the second round of ticket sales will begin that same month.
Preparing for the Men’s EHF EURO 2018
The Women’s EHF EURO 2016 presentation was followed by information on the Men’s EHF EURO 2018. Croatia have a history of hosting major international tournaments, including both European and World Championships.
With more than 700 days until the next Men's EHF EURO, organisation has just begun, with the four host cities named and the logo for the tournament already designed. The host cities for the Men’s EHF EURO 2018 will be Porec, Split, Varazdin and Zagreb.
The mascot for the EHF EURO 2018 will be presented for the first time at the EHF Conference for Secretary Generals and the qualfication draw in April 2016, to be held in Dubrovnik.