NEWS REPORT: Benhardtz will have her debut as coach of the men’s beach handball team at the Jarun Cup this weekend

Heléne Bernhardtz first female coach to lead a Swedish national men’s team

The men’s national beach handball team of Sweden has a new head coach – and her name is Heléne Bernhardtz.

The former HP Warta player is the first ever female head coach of a men’s national team in the Scandinavian country.

Bernhardtz, 38, will take over from Jesper Knutsson, who has been combining the roles of coach and team captain but will now fully focus on playing.

Appointment as head coach is a novelty

Bernhardtz has worked with the men’s beach handball team in different functions before but her appointment as the head coach by the Swedish federation is a novelty.

“Neither me nor the players think that it will be strange. I have worked with many of the players at both club and national team level before,” Bernhardtz tells the website of the Swedish handball federation.

Bernhardtz will already have her debut as the men’s team head coach this weekend at the Jarun Cup 2019 in Croatia, which runs from Saturday until Wednesday and is the season-opener of the European Beach Handball Tour this year.

“Continue the good development”

Last year, Sweden reached the semi-final of the World Championship in Russia, while the highlights this season include the Beach Handball EURO in Poland in July and the World Beach Games in San Diego in October.

“My goal is for us to be able to continue the good development we have had, to manage and develop what we have built up,” Bernhardtz says. “We have a tough challenge in the European Championship where the goal is to get into the top three to qualify for the World Cup next year.”

[Photo Heléne Bernhardtz: Tommy Holl]

TEXT: EHF / ew