Michael, you visited the organisation Play Handball in Cape Town in South Africa at the beginning of this year. What was your motivation to do so, and how did you get in touch?

Michael Haaß: I planned to make holidays with my wife in Cape Town. I was curious and looked up in the internet: Cape Town, South Africa and Handball. One of the first matches was the handball project of Nicola Scholl (Play Handball/Red.). I read about it and found it directly amazing and a very commendable dedication. I wrote to the organisation and told them that I will be in Cape Town and would like to see it.

Did you know Nicola before?

No. My only thought was; if I am going to travel around the world, I could also look out at the same time for people who play as well handball like me. I really like the social link and Nicola was directly keen to get me involved in the project.

And how was the visit?

It was only a short visit, due to school holidays. But a few people who facilitate the handball gathered and we did a short training session together.

Outside in the sun …

… exactly, in the sun. It was totally different for me, but a lot of fun.

And how did you like Cape Town?

It is a great City. The only drawback is that you rely on a car. But the city is amazing. My wife was pregnant at this time and we spend only ten days there. For this reason we did not see more from South Africa. It was a relative short trip for such a long travel time, but I was happy that I could combine it with handball as well.

How is the contact to Nicola and the project since then?

We have now and then contact and I am sure that I will come back another time. If so, I will definitely help in any kind I can to support the handball in South Africa. Handball is there still a marginalized sport. I try to stay informed via the internet, Play Handball is very active in the social web such as Instagram or Facebook. So I am always up to date and try to give idealistic and uplifting support from this side.

Could you imagine to become a coach at a later stage of your sport career, maybe even for children and youth teams?

Definitely, but for now the professional handball is my main focus. I believe there is a lot of potential in children and youth handball.What I saw in South Africa is: Handball and Sport in general open doors for your life, there are a lot of opportunities out there and sport helps us to reach them.

 

Interview by Ruwen Möller, Oktober 2017

More in this category: Using Sport to educate about Climate Change in Cape Town! » Hanna reports from her experiences in 2 different communities around Cape Town » Laura tells of her experiences as a volunteer in Cape Town » The International Handball Federation (IHF) draws attention to PLAY HANDBALL » From Blomberg to the Cape – As volunteer coaches in South Africa » Meet The Volunteer: Sophia experiences township life in Jo’burg » “I am, You are, We are South Africa!” – Ubomi Children Camp July 2019 » Interview with our Swiss volunteer Daniel Schettler » Handball is an universal language – Play Handball at Karookop Primary School » Interview with Thabang from Franschhoek Community Sport Centre » Supercup inspires over 450 children in Africa » With Handball active for a climate change – Play Handball Supercup 2018 in Delft, Cape Town » Play Handball Supercup 2018 in Benoni » Super handball action at the Sinaba Stadium in Daveyton » Donation Campaign of Kim Ekdahl Du Rietz brings about 30 000 Euro » Interview with the volunteer Matti Schubert » Learners embrace new sport » Handball is a new sport in the farming area of Piketberg » First ever PLAY HANDBALL Junior Cup in Stellenbosch » VOLUNTEER INTERVIEW with SIMON UTTKE » Get your own Calendar of “Memories of Joy and Unity with Handball” for your donation of 25€ and more » Conclusion ‘Play Handball’ 2017 » Using Sport to raise awareness for Climate Change! » The 1st climate-neutral handball tournament series in South Africa » PLAY HANDBALL SuperCup on the 29th of October 2016, in Johannesburg and on the 19th of November in Cape Town, » PLAY HANDBALL SuperCup on the 24th of April 2016 at the German International School in Tamboerskloof, Cape Town. » STREET UP YOUR HANDBALL – Developing communities around South Africa with and through handball » SolarWorld powers Handball in South Africa » THE START OF A NEW HANDBALL VOLUNTEER PROGRAM » GIRLS HANDBALL DAY – TRAIN WITH THE PROS PROMOTING fun, health, passion and multi-cultural cohesion » Halftime for the handball development project of the German Olympic Sports Confederation in partnership with the South African Handball Federation in the Western Cape » Partnership for handball development between Germany and South Africa: Short-term handball development project financed by means of German Federal Foreign Office »
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