The EHF has a wide range of grassroots handball projects, aimed at encouraging participation in handball by children and adults of all ages and abilities.
For the youngest children, the EHF is developing Kindergarten Handball, which will help nurseries and primary schools bring handball into the lives of children aged between three and five years old. This will be accompanied by Mini Handball, which is handball activities adapted for children aged six to nine years old.
For slightly older children and teenagers, the EHF has helped bring to life Goalcha. The project is aimed at bringing handball back to schools and into the daily life of young people. A special ball was developed which can be used by anyone regardless of their age, sex or physical capabilities. Goalcha has no referee or coach, with players agreeing on the basic rules and making sure they are observed during a match.
The Goalcha ball is also used in Five-a-side Handball, designed for former handball players who want to make a comeback. The game is played on a short handball court and the duration of a match can vary depending on the players and the time available. Rules are built on fair-play principles, and there is little physical impact.
Meanwhile Walking Handball is a form of handball played with no physical contact, at a slower pace and usually with soft balls. The idea came from cooperation between the Dutch Handball Association (NHV) and the Dutch National Elderly Fund.
The EHF is also a partner of several projects related to encouraging physical activity in children, including Share & Play and ICoachKids (iCK). Share & Play was developed by the NGO Athletes Inspire Children and focuses on the development of the social, educational and physical capacities of children between the ages of six and 18 by combining sport activity and education after school. iCK is a not for profit initiative co-funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Commission which aims to support the development of a specialist children and youth coaching workforce across the EU, giving young coaches the tools to share and learn from one another.
Other initiatives include Handball4Health, an innovative exercise programme that aims at using recreational team handball as a means to improve health, physical fitness and well-being regardless of the participant’s age, health or gender. The project was established in Portugal and is promoted all around Europe. The EHF also participates in the European Week of Sport, an annual initiative initiated by the European Union.
These projects are supported by a new monthly webinar series focusing on grassroots and development topics for 2022 targeting the entire handball community.