The Soccer World Cup in Brazil shows, sport connects people from all over the world and contributes to integration and multi-cultural cohesion. But we do not need to travel to South America to experience this. Last Wednesday 50 girls from the German School in Cape Town (DSK) and the Primary School in Kayamandi were training together with a women team from the first German National Handball League, the SG BBM Bietigheim, in Kayamandi (Stellenbosch).
The ‘Girls Handball Day – Train with the Pros’ was organized by PLAY HANDBALL ZA, a sports and development organisation focusing in handball. Nicola Scholl, director of PLAY HANDBALL ZA says: “We promote handball on grassroots level and using it as a tool to empower girls. Handball is fun, passion and is able to come across cultural, social or racial barriers. Today girls form different social backgrounds trained together. It was such amazing to see how the girls shared experience on the handball field.” The purpose of the event was to get to know handball, to create interaction and contribute to a multi-cultural understanding.
The team from Bietigheim is visiting South Africa as part of an end of season holiday. During the three-hours training session the professional handball players shared their skills and experience and showed how handball can help to empower themselves. ‘I feel really blessed, that I could share my skills and experience. It was amazing to see with how much motivation and fun everyone participated today’, tells Annamaria Ilyes, player from Bietigheim. ‘Today was also for us a unique opportunity to get to know a different part of South Africa and his diverse culture. We are really happy that we could help and offer new opportunities with handball“, said Bo Andersen, coach of the German handball team.
Handball is almost unknown in South Africa. PLAY HANDBALL ZA is aiming to change this. The organisation is assisting with developing of handball structures and skills, offering coaching workshops, organising events and is working with handball volunteers in local communities. Scholl says: ‘I see a huge potential for handball in South Africa as the sport needs less equipment and can be played everywhere like soccer.’ The event was organized by PLAY HANDBALL in partnership with Ithemba Community Development Project. ‘It was the first time that we had handball in our community. It is a great sport for our girls and we would like to carry on with the partnership’, does Kwanele Gugushe (Chairperson of Ithemba) believe in a future for handball in Kayamandi.