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USA Team Handball Announces 11 Members of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee

Oct. 26, 2020, 12:21 p.m. (ET)

USA Team Handball today announced the 11 appointments to the USA Team Handball Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee.

Hailing from across the country with a variety of backgrounds and experiences, the 11 appointees include Olympic athletes, collegiate athletes, club athletes, national team athletes, coaches, referees, team administrators, and USA Team Handball staff and board members.

Joining the committee are: Derek Brown (Olympian– Maryland), Diva Desai (National Team and Collegiate Athlete – North Carolina), Myles Bacon (Club and Collegiate Coach, Club Administrator – California), Pauline Marangoni (Club Coach, Referee, Club Board Member – California), Maria Vallone (National Team and Collegiate Athlete – New York), Sarah Gascon (National Team Athlete – Alabama), Hannah Ross (National Team Athlete – Idaho), Darryl Yarbrough (Club Administrator – California), Julia Taylor (National Team Athlete – France), Melissa Zhang (Communications Manager – Massachusetts), and Patrick Jalabert (USA Team Handball Board Member, Competition Committee Chairman - Illinois)

“I was incredibly excited to get this committee formed, and am especially happy to see it composed of such a diverse mix of talented individuals within the handball community,” said USA Team Handball Communications Manager Melissa Zhang.

“The efforts and mission of this committee are of the utmost importance for our sport moving forward, and I am hopeful for the impact that this committee can make for the years to come. We will work hard to make our sport more inclusive for marginalized communities and ensure that people of all backgrounds feel welcome in the handball community.”

This committee has been formed to accomplish the following goals and objectives: 

-To promote diversity and inclusion within our sport's athletes, coaches, referees, administrators and fans
-To generate and execute new ideas that will provide opportunities  for more women and communities of color to get involved with the sport of team handball 
-To ensure a more equal, just and fair sporting community for all, particularly within the USA Team Handball family
-To encourage leadership and professional development among youth from diverse backgrounds, whether it is race, color, religion, sexuality, gender, socioeconomic status, etc. 

The committee consists of five membership representatives, four athlete representatives, one staff representative and one board representative. Emily Hewitt, USA Team Handball’s administrative manager, will provide administrative support for the group.  

More information regarding initiatives developed and actions recommended by the committee will be shared in the coming months.

About USA Team Handball: USA Team Handball (USATH) is the U.S. National Governing Body for the Olympic discipline of Team Handball, and is responsible for the development of grassroots programs, preparation of national teams for international competition - including the Pan American and Olympic Games - as well as the day-to-day oversight of the sport of team handball in the United States. The mission of USATH is to develop, promote, educate and grow the sport of team handball at all levels domestically, and to enable U.S. athletes to achieve sustained competitive excellence to win medals in international and Olympic competition. USATH is a member of the International Handball Federation, the North American and Caribbean Handball Confederation, and the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee, and is headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Media Contact: Melissa Zhang | (508) 768-5649 | Melissa.Zhang@usateamhandball.org