The last 60 or so days since my last message to you - our USA Team Handball (USATH) members - has been incredible in SO many ways! At the International competition level, we have never seen so much action:
• Our Women placed 4th in the PanAm Games, while our Men placed 6th
• Our Junior Men competed for the first time in the IHF Junior World Championships
• Our New York City Handball Club Women’s Team played in the first ever Super Globe Championship in China; while the NYC Men’s Team is currently in Saudi Arabia getting ready to play in the Men’s version of Super Globe.
• Our Women and Men’s Beach Handball Teams both were Champions at the North America & Caribbean Beach Handball Championships, earning spots in the October World Beach Games in Doha, Qatar, as well as next year’s IHF Beach Handball World Championships.
Incredible … and so proud!
Womens National Team at Pan American Games - Lima, Peru
Mens National Team at Pan American Games - Lima, Peru
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The USATH Board of Directors is key to the success of our organization, as they help provide the strategic direction, financial and ethical oversight, and also commit hundreds of volunteer hours to helping in a variety of ways, given our limited Staff.
We are excited to welcome three new members to our Board of Directors:
• Michael Wall, Board Chair - a highly successful attorney specializing in the business of sports. Former General Counsel to the Boston Bruins.
• Tracy Deforge - An attorney by training, an entrepreneur in spirit, and an executive leader through experience. Total focus on the sports industry.
• Bill Bigham - new Athlete Representative from Beach Handball. Bill has been playing handball for almost 20 years, was on our National Team in 2001 at Worlds in France, and is a true leader now in Beach Handball.
These three individuals bring tremendous new energy and intellect to our Board, and will play a big role in continuing the advancement of our sport.
COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER - MELISSA ZHANG
Our new full-time (starting Sept. 9) Communications Manager, Melissa Zhang, has one primary objective: expose our amazing sport to the USA! And, Melissa is more than prepared and excited to do just that. She comes to us after a year in the Communications/PR Department of the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee, and will be responsible for our website, all social media, press releases, and a whole lot more. Melissa is down in Lima, Peru right now covering the ParaPan Games for the USOPC, and will be with us when she returns.
We greatly thank National Indoor and Beach Team Member, Liz Hartnett, for doing a very good job with our media and communications up to this point; but, we hope you agree - the Board certainly does - giving our sport true professional, high level and full-time attention to getting the word out is priority #1. Thus, Melissa!
Clubs and Tournaments
A Collegiate Club Working Group has been formed, comprised of eight key USATH volunteers (including 2018 elected Board Members, Patrick Jalabert and JD Orr), along with the leader of the group, Tyler Munoz, from the USOPC. They have been meeting approximately every 10 days, with a very clear mission: establish a sustainable approach toward helping colleges and universities establish collegiate team handball clubs. Our next newsletter will give more information about this but, for now, we are simply asking if any of you are at a college or know a college where establishing a handball club may work - and you or someone you know will take responsibility -please contact either JD (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Patrick (email@example.com). I am sure they would also welcome any questions or thoughts you have on the subject.
Besides Collegiate Clubs and their games, there are several Regional like tournaments throughout the “season,” beginning shortly and ending with Collegiate Club Championships and our US Open Nationals. This weekend (August 24-25) is the 13th Annual SoCal Beach Championships. Most of our National Team beach players will be participating in Huntington Beach - great prep for the October World Beach Games. In October on the indoor side, the Michael Lipov Memorial Cup will take place in Chicago. Awesomely, the tournament has 12 men’s teams and 6 women’s teams registered. This will be played October 25-27 and will be live-streamed on the Chicago Inter YouTube channel.
Thank you to all those who have taken up our call for support, for “joining the movement,” by making a donation to our Federation. No matter the size, any contribution is meaningful, so if you are so inclined, please go to https://usoc.tfaforms.net/74 and pledge what you can.
In closing, it has been a truly exhilarating four months as CEO of our Federation. I have spoken with many of you, have felt your passion and love for our sport, and I share that … each and everyday. Please know we are all working hard to be able to deliver to you what you all deserve: support for our National Teams, growth of our sport through clubs and youth programs, and making Team Handball “America’s Next Great Sport.” Together, we can make it happen!
13th Annual SoCal Beach Championships August 24-25 Huntington Beach, CA
Michael Lipov Memorial Cup October 25-27 Chicago, IL
We here at USA Team Handball hope you enjoyed this month's newsletter! Have questions or concerns? Content or story ideas? Feel free to send us an email! To stay up-to-date on all things USATH, visit us on our social media channels listed below!