‘Respect Your Talent’ starts in Győr

Audi Arena Győr was the host of the first ‘RYT Activity Day’ on 18 July featuring 40 ‘Players of the Match’ selected at the Women’s 19 EHF EURO. The selected players had the opportunity to hear valuable tips from the Norwegian and Győri Audi ETO KC centre back Stine Oftedal, the project’s ambassador and role model.

‘Respect Your Talent’ is a new EHF project aimed at fostering the development of young and talented female handball players on and off the court. The project aims to make the players aware of their talent, but also to stress that talent itself is not enough to succeed.

“The European Handball Federation is taking care of the young players, encouraging them to play elite handball and making them aware of their talent,” said Alenka Cuderman, EHF Women’s Handball Board and ‘Respect Your Talent’ Coordinator.

“Having talent alone is not enough, they should take care of it not only as a handball player but also off the court which may help them to become better players and build a stronger personality with more self-confidence. Our idea is not to give them too many messages at the same time, but to impress them and I believe Stine Oftedal managed to do that.”

Successful combination of elite handball and education  

The first ‘RYT Activity Day’ with three-time European and two- time world champion Stine Oftedal, had the purpose of inspiring the players for pursuing their careers in elite handball but also stressing that they should not forget about education and personal development.

“I really liked it and I thought it was a cool experience. I was a little nervous but it was a very good experience. It is so great to see all these young and big talents. I am really happy. My main advice to them would be to use their talent for the best because they have a lot of talent”, said Oftedal who also successfully combined her professional handball career with education. She holds a bachelor’s degree in economics.

“I took more years to finish my bachelor’s; instead of three, I did it in five. I just tried to use my time, be disciplined. I also feel that it is good to focus on something else for a while and I really felt like I could do that.”

Stine stressed that not only education can help with their career after handball. Being involved in a team sport, especially handball, gives athletes many personal qualities like being team players, hard workers and dedicated to what they do. Those are the qualities that bring more to a person than just education.

“I am really happy that we met with a talented player like Stine. I think this is a really big thing. The tip she gave us about life after handball career was really good, I think I will use it because it was very useful,” stated Dora Szabo from Hungary.

Dealing with media

Talking to media representatives is something young players struggle with and feel nervous about. One of the aims of the project is also to help them overcome that fear. In that respect, Stine Oftedal and Thomas Schöneich from EHF Media and Communications department shared useful advice and answered interesting questions from the players.

“I am quite honoured to be here, especially with Stine being here. It is quite cool and I enjoyed it. The tip about the media was very good because I am not that comfortable with doing interviews. I am going to use it in the future,” said Johanna Reichert from Austria.

Next steps

‘Respect Your Talent’ project is in the full swing across six European countries this summer with other project ambassadors like Anja Althaus (NOR), Nerea Pena (ESP), Ana Gros (SLO) and Johanna Alhm (SWE).

The first step is to select the players which will continue their RYT journey in 2020 when the camp will be organised. The toolkit will also be developed including topics like other topics, media communication, and use of social media, dual career, anti-doping and fair play.

The next step is also including male players starting from 2020 at the Men’s 18 and 20 EHF EURO and EHF Championship events.

TEXT: EHF/jb