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University and College Club Development Initiative - Introduction Letter

Nov. 07, 2018, 8 a.m. (ET)

Dear Prospective Club, University, and College Partners:                  

We are reaching out to tell you about exciting developments in USA Team Handball (USATH), and to start a dialog with you about joining us in this journey.

To build the foundation for our way ahead, we have been actively engaged in discussions with the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) and the International Handball Federation (IHF) about how to gain their support for USATH going forward.

The USOC’s support is conditioned upon its “buy-in” to a new USATH Strategic Plan.  To this end, we have, in fact, developed such a plan with the assistance of professional facilitators, and the plan was approved by the Board on July 19, 2018.  USOC’s commitment was evident from the start as they both funded and actively participated in the development of the Strategic Plan.  This plan provides a structured and aggressive roadmap for evolving Team Handball in the United States, to include a results-oriented focus on goals such as improving the results of our National Teams.

The discussions with the IHF were fomented in large part by the award of the 2028 Olympic Games to Los Angeles.  Like USOC, IHF also had a keen interest in our development of a Strategic Plan.  In fact, the IHF has already communicated their willingness to partner with us and provide resources to support a key component of the plan, to wit, increasing the number of universities and colleges which have club Team Handball programs (i.e., the “College Club Program”). Likewise, the USOC also has indicated its strong support for the College Club Program as a critical component of the plan. IHF resources to be provided include:  (1) start-up guidance and support; (2) equipment in the form of goals and balls; (3) coaching methods and instruction; (4) training of referees; and (5) possible exchanges with European club teams to facilitate competitions and opportunities for joint training.

We intend to create College Club Programs in two to four geographic areas over the next 12 to 18 months.  If more than four areas express an interest, then we will choose the four most promising among them. It is likely that we will initially start with two areas, and then add additional geographies.   

The open clubs are an important and valuable component of Team Handball in the United States.  We have heard from many of you that your club is willing and able to do more in the development area.  Thus, we are canvassing the open clubs to see if you wish to be a catalyst for and “sponsor” of a College Club Program in your area.  The College Club Program will create a recruiting pipeline and increase regional competitive opportunities for your clubs.

Some of the open clubs are better geographically and otherwise situated to be a successful catalyst for the College Club Program.  In this initial stage, the number of universities and colleges (and even junior colleges) that are within a 3-4 hour driving distance and are willing to host a collegiate Team Handball club are critical success factors.  For now, this is more important than other pursuits such as attracting major athletic conferences like the Big 10, SEC or PAC12.

If you think that your Club is interested in becoming a catalyst and sponsor for such a Program, please fill out the attached Request for Information (RFI), and return it to us by November 30, 2018.  This will help us determine overall interest, guide us in further discussions with you, and establish next steps in working with you to start up a successful College Club Program.

Please email your RFI responses to Michael D. Cavanaugh at info@usateamhandball.org or mdc@usateamhandball.org.  Questions on this RFI may be directed to the Board of Directors at board@usateamhandball.org

This is an exciting time for USATH, and we are thrilled at the prospect of partnering with you as we embark on this journey.  We look forward to hearing from you.

                                                            Sincerely,

USA Team Handball Board of Directors

 

Bob Djokovich                                Diana Miller                                Attila Agoston

Co-Chair                                         Co-Chair                                     General Membership Director

                                         

Jennie Choi                                     David Buckman                          Randy Dean

General Membership                       Independent Director                   Independent Director

    Director

 

Mike McNees                                 David Thompson                        Sarah Gascon

Independent Director                       Athlete Representative                 Athlete Representative