Gothenburg, Sweden has been hosting The Partille Cup, the largest youth handball tournament in the world since 1970. This year it was played between June 29 and July 4, 2015.
India was one of the 41 nations among 1023 teams worldwide that participated in the tournament. Divya Sharma spoke to many of the referees and coaches who were the driving force behind handball being developed as a sport in India.
Sharma spoke with Randhir Singh, manager, quality assurance guide, Indian Handball Federation (IHF)
Q. Since how long have you been coming to Sweden and how many children have come from India?
A: We have been coming to Partille cup for 15 years now and it has been great. This year there are more than 200 children between the age group 11-18 and 12 referees.
Q. Do you think enough importance is given to sports like handball in India?
A: Things are changing slowly. In India, kids hardly can manage to devote time to sports after school. Indian kids like to push limits. Handball in the beginning was very alien to kids. The attraction towards cricket and football has always been there so it is difficult to displace these games from the minds of children.
Q. How does Indian performance look in the Partille cup?
A: Handball is basically a European game and they have been excelling at it for years. For good performance from our side we need government aid, more grants and facilities.
I think kids from rich families are still in a better position to come to Sweden as have their parents sponsoring them. The kids who are less fortunate deserve more help both economically and emotionally from us.
Q. What do you have to say about Sweden and its role in promoting Handball to the world?
A: I laud Sweden’s efforts for conducting this tournament for over 46 years. I think India can learn so much from Sweden from its humility and professionalism. It can support countries like India by organizing solidarity camps so that our kids also learn about the tactics from grass root level.
Q. What are your final thoughts on Sweden and India point?
A: Sweden is really a peaceful, developed and efficient country. With the President of India recently visiting Sweden, I am sure Indo-Swedish ties will become stronger.