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Baltic Handball League

2019.01.11 14:26

Baltic Handball Association founded in Tallinn

Today in Tallinn, the Baltic Handball Association (BHA) was founded, as handball leaders of three Baltic States gathered in Hotel L'Ermitage to discuss future developments. New organisation will not only advance the already existing men's Baltic Handball League, but has taken a broader perspective into developing handball in the region.

Over twenty years the BHL has functioned well, but talks about a more general co-operation between three Baltic States have been brought up recently and this year decisive action was taken. Three federations will now discuss the principles domestically and very soon the signatures will be put on paper for the new BHA to start.

"We all hope this action will give a new impulse for handball in all three countries. Not just on top level, but also in youth and women's handball. Our youth national teams are not doing well in Europe and I sincerely hope co-operation between our nations can change this," commented Donatas Pasvenskas, president of the Lithuanian Handball Federation.

"Women's handball is quite popular in Lithuania and I hope with BHA we can also help to develop it further in Latvia and Estonia," added Pasvenskas. "Even more important perhaps is the co-operation in the field of education, where we can benefit in both sports and management areas."

General secretary of Latvian Handball Federation, Guntis Ciematnieks was also very optimistic about BKA's future role. "Latvia has Dainis Krištopans, Lithuania Aidenas Malašinskas nad Jonas Truchanovičius, Estonia Mait Patrail and Dener Jaanimaa – a joint national team might be playing at the World Championships. Working together we can build not just one, but three strong national teams," said Ciematnieks.

"Everyone in handball world talks about the Scandinavian handball or Balkan style, but we have ambitions to make people also speak about Baltic handball," said Ciematnieks. "It is a great chance for three of us, not work individually, but make developments together – handball is a team sport!"

Oliver Kruuda, Estonian Handball Federation's chairman of the board was very happy with similar thinking at the meeting. "Today clearly proved, that people can think not just locally, but can see the bigger picture. Problems and joys in all three countries are the same, so working together we can only become stronger," believed Kruuda.

"We take five main directions in BHA with the first priority being strengthening the BHL. But similar importance will be the development of youth, women's and beach handball and the co-operation in education. We have now taken the first step, so let's roll up our sleeves and get to work," added Kruuda.

On photo (from left): Lithuanian Handball Federation president Donatas Pasvenskas, BHL manager Urmo Sitsi, Estonian Handball Federation general secretary Pirje Orasson, Latvian Handball Federation general secretary Guntis Ciematnieks and sports director Renars Licis and Chairman of the Board of Estonian Handball Federation Oliver Kruuda.