Women's Working Group to solve unique challenges on and off the court

June 24, 2009, 6:56 p.m. (ET)

USA Team Handball today announced its eight-member Women's Working Group to reinvigorate and develop the sport on the women's side as part of its three initiatives to grow and strengthen team handball in the United States. A deeply-committed group brought together to identify and solve unique challenges on and off the court for female handball players in the United States, the members represent various constituencies, geographic regions and backgrounds.

Women's Working Group

David Gascon, Los Angeles, CA - Retired LAPD Assistant Chief of Police; Father of US Women's National team player Sarah Gascon

Dawn Allinger Lewis, Bozeman, MT - 1996 Olympian. GM, VP, Coach and/or Player for USA Women's National Team through 2007. Handball analyst for NBC in Beijing.

Dee Miller, Dallas, TX - Women's National Team player in 1980s. Successful businesswoman & consultant; Founder of DFW Team Handball Club

Jan O'Shea, Greene, NY - Long-time volunteer and manager for US Team Handball Federation and USA Women's National Team.

Janet Vise, Park City, UT - Businesswoman with sporting interests from skiing to motorcycle racing; Attended 2009 World Championships and 2009 USA Club Championships

Kathy Rex, Colorado Springs, CO - 1988 Olympian.  Former USOC employee; Founder and coach of Colorado's largest youth running and handball club Landsharks

Mary Phyl Dwight, Kansas City, MO - 1984 Olympian; Professor at University of Missouri-KC. Co-authored handball text book "Team Handball Steps to Success"

Tomuke Ebuwei-Holmes, State College, PA - Captain, USA Women's National Team; Alternate Athlete Representative to USOC for handball

USATH General Manager Steve Pastorino will act as the primary liaison between the National Governing Body and the group, which will meet on a monthly basis via conference call to work on the following list of initial goals:

1)    Analyze and use High Performance Plan as starting point to evaluate all existing programs and past programs and propose ways to invigorate and/or expand them

2)    Choose and apply creative, efficient methods to recruit female athletes, particularly 12-18 years old

3)    Create and manage systematic practice/play programs designed to generate 100 contact hours (games & practices) per season

4)    Set tangible goals for number of athletes in local/regional and national pools

5)    Effectively utilize USATH resources but also secure sustainable flow of financial support to grow both grassroots programs and top-tier athlete support

6)    Apply for grant opportunities (WSF's GoGirlGo, Daniels Fund, etc.)

7)    Build a network to place top female athletes with European clubs beginning in 2010-11

8)    Identify USATH Women's Centers of Excellence and design support program to assist relocation of aspiring players

9)    Assist Referee Committee in efforts to recruit young (U20) candidates for officials who can grow within USATH, Pan American Federation and IHF's Global Referee Training Program

10)  Identify coaching candidates for grassroots through National Team opportunities 

11)  Provide on-going feedback, recommendations, and requests to General Manager, Technical Director, Regional Directors and Coaches, Refereeing and Competition Committees in matters viewed as strategically important to advance the WWG agenda and its objectives.

For more information on the Women's Working Group or to help develop women's handball, please e-mail info@usateamhandball.org.