The Handball Federation of India’s (HFI) Executive Director Anandeshwar Pandey met International Handball Federation’s (IHF) President Hassan Moustafa on the sidelines of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games and discussed the roadmap to boost the growth of handball in India.
The meeting involved discussions about how IHF can extend its support to give international exposure opportunities for Indian handball players and also provide top foreign coaches and experts to train local coaches and technical officials, helping them upscale their skillsets.
“It was a very meaningful meeting with the IHF President. We have so much potential in handball in India, it just needs some backing and efforts in the right direction. IHF is very much interested in supporting us in order to popularise this sport in the country. We also discussed how IHF can help us in our mission to further take this sport to new heights,” Pandey said.
Handball has been making rapid strides in India in recent times, especially with the launch of the Premier Handball League (PHL) and, the sport has also been included in Khelo India, facilitating grassroots development. IHF also promised to support the league, which is expected to bolster the progress of handball in India and attract more players to take up the sport professionally.
“The league will definitely play a crucial role in developing this sport. We had a detailed discussion on PHL during the meeting and IHF is ready to support in every possible way, knowing that the league will help us in creating a large pool of talented players and also giving them a much-needed financial stability in their careers,” he further added.
With the introduction of PHL, Bluesport Entertainment Pvt Ltd—the official license holders under the aegis of HFI—is aiming to revolutionise the way handball is being played in India as well as ensuring better financial sustainability for the players and the entire sporting ecosystem. PHL has already been working with the national federation, tapping potential talents across the country and providing them a platform to showcase their talent.
“We are thankful to IHF for extending their support to the league alongside HFI. Our dream is to create top-quality athletes who can represent India at the multinational sporting events and win medals. PHL is committed to give Indian handball players necessary backing to excel in the sport. The league will also provide them an opportunity to rub shoulders against the world’s best international players. We hope to reach every corner of the country and popularise this sport through PHL,” Abhinav Banthia, President of Bluesport Entertainment Pvt Ltd, the official licensee holder of PHL, said.
Handball has been identified as a priority sport by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports under Target Olympic Podium Scheme and it has close to 80 thousand registered players currently in the country.