To view this page ensure that Adobe Flash Player version 11.1.0 or greater is installed.

WOMEN ON TOP Rising to the challenge: Handball’s outstanding female leaders Of the 204 Member Federations of the International Handball Federation, a small but growing percentage have a female President at the helm. Africa boasts the highest concentration of female leaders, with four of the 10 women serving as President of their federation hailing from the oldest continent: Gabon’s Dr Nicole Assele, Nigeria’s Oumou Traoré, Sheila Agonzibwa Richardson from Uganda, and South Africa’s Ruth Saunders. Oceania is next with three female Presidents – Haiti’s Carline Choute, Cook Islands’ Makiroa Mitchell-John and Micronesia’s Liliana Gootinag, before Europe with two – Bulgaria’s Rositsa Bakordzhieva-Koeva and Liechtenstein’s Uschi Bodenmann, and Pan America with one – Raquel Pedercini of Canada. The nations and regions most heavily represented by women are some that may be considered developing, as all of the ten nations have yet to qualify for the flagship IHF event – the World Championship. The Presidents of these federations therefore face challenging situations in the quest to develop handball in their nations, with a range of current focuses and projects including improving school activities and competitions, increasing resources for teachers and coaches, and refining relevant programmes to best suit each country’s needs. The challenge of guiding a developing federation The journey through development is a long and arduous one, but it is clear these women are not afraid of a challenge as they face obstacles on a daily basis – in their work Carline Choute (HAI, right) and Uschi Bodenmann (LIE) next to their colleague from American Samoa, Carl J. Floor. with their respective national federations and in managing their contribution to handball alongside many other responsibilities. Several of these Presidents work a full-time job, though for some there is an intersection between their passion for handball and their obligations. Saunders for example, is Sports Development Officer at Cape Peninsula University of Technology in Cape Town, which involves some work with increasing interest in handball at the university. Considering such a range of responsibilities it seems clear these women are masters of multitasking, and are able to creatively devise Bulgaria’s President Rositsa Bakordzhieva in the middle of delegates and friends at the IHF Congress in Sochi. 48 WHM (1-2016( methods for making the most of the situation for handball in their nation. “We are in the third year of the IHF four-year plan, which is making huge strides and a big difference in handball in our country. We are looking forward to working with the IHF Experts during this year and also looking forward to partnering with the German Handball Federation [BoraBola project],” says Saunders of the SAHF current focuses. Lack of funding from governmental and sports associations is a common concern in these nations, which Canada’s Raquel Pedercini says renders it vital to work in successful The only female President from Pan America: Raquel Pedorcini (CAN) talking shop with her colleague Eduardo Spangenberg (URU)