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Interview with Antonio Viola: Gaeta handball ’84 will be part of Jarun cup

Gaeta handball 84 confirmed the participation on Jarun cup 2015
Beach handball club „Gaeta handball 84“ will start their new beach handball season with Jarun cup 2015 tournament. We are very proud on that information and we use this opportunity to speak with the main persons of this club, Mr. Antonio Viola and Mr. Antonio D’Ovidio (will be published soon).

  Interview with Mr Viola:
I assume that readers of our website mainly know a lot about beach handball history. So, I predict that they know that BH was firstly introduced in Italy and that you were a part of the „first developing team“. Could you please go back to the history and told us exactly what happened and how did you start to develop the beach handball idea? Which persons participated from the first steps?

«Our story start by a chance in Ponza (Island small square) on 20 June 1992. Mr. Gianni Buttarelli andò Franco Schiano met each other and talked about handball; Mr. Buttarelli was the president of an handball team (Sequax Lazio) and Mr. Franco Schiano was nominated a short time before to be president of our team, Gaeta Handball ’84.

“Do we want handball in the Ponzian’s Islands?”; “It’s a good idea Franco, on the islands there aren’t good sport structures”; “Let’s see what we can do”.

A couple of days in Rome, at the federation and the idea was born: Handball Beach (old name of this sport).

Miss Luciana Pareschi, Mr. Bertolino and Gianfranco Briani, some time before had worked out idea of a kind of handball on the sand. In that year the federation had possibility to have a test with the “Trofeo Topolino” for babies in Misano Adriatico. So, why don’t try it in a real tournament with real players?

In the Summer of 1992 the first beach handball tournament, the light of reflectors. Yes reflectors, first edition was played by night with Gaeta 84, Contax, Lazio Sequax, Polyot Celjabinsk (Russia), Ciampino, Roma Populiner and Fondi Agrimedia. The manifestation was succesfull: international referees participated as Giampiero Masi and Di Piero and many international important newspapers wrote about us. While in the 1993, we had the first International Tournament under the supervision of Gianni Buttarelli, that took place in Rome. To the Eternal City came junior national teams of Algeria and Taiwan, youth team from Russia, Military national team of Italy and junior team composition of German TSV Bartenbach club.

In the 1994 beach handball was recognized at international level, on May the I.H.F. meeting in Gaeta to made the international rules and then on September in Harleem- Zandvoort in Holland our sport was consacrated at world by I.H F.

The first demostrative match was organized by me and Franco Schiano, between our Italian representative team (COHB Officiale Team) and Dutch national team. We won and many managers of world handball apprecciated it so much.

After this beach handball improved and increased so much in all this year and everybody know history after first Continental Championship that was held in Gaeta on July 2000. We are so honoured, with modesty, to be in the history of our sport and be the city where everythings was born».

At this moment are you satisfied with the direction through beach handball goes?

«Nowadays i am much satisfied because beachhandball improved so much in this 20 years about and is more spectacular sport with new rules and a really big teamsport. I am so happy to observe that much new teams are borning and coming in the beach handball family with Ehf and with participation to EBT tour.

It’s a big joy to watch world athletes that have fun to play on the sand and observe always new stunts and spectacular actions».

Regarding the rules, do you think that something should be change or you think that all rules are well incorporated to the beach handball philosophy?

«I think that we can and we must change always some rule to improve this sport and give more ”show” to the observers of our sport. For example in the past, during shoot-out i thought ”Why goalkeepers can move before the whistle of referees and stop a player? And the rule changed and nowadays is so nice to watch all tactiques of goalkeepers and imagine if they will shoot to the goal, if they will pass the ball to the shooter and is so nice atmosphere and how to save a goal with much fair-play. Now I will need time to think about how we can change or invent new rules but I hope to do it and improve always our fantastic sport with our Beach Handball Family».

How do you comment that beach handball became part of youth Olympic games and how do you see the beach handball development in the future?
«If iIthink at first championship where we started just for a passion and with a group of friends, its a big honour that now is an Olympic game, specially about mentality and atmosphere that beach handball can give to the young generations because is a sport where fair play is the base and they can know players from much countries with different idea or philosophy of beach handball».

What do you expect from Italy in the future in this discipline?

«I must be realistic, unfortunately we haven’t  big movement about beach handball in Italy and many tournaments are just for “joke” because there is just one federation for indoor and beach handball. For this reason we try since 15 years to do an European tournament with EBT referees and we improved so much and after coming to Jarun Cup we should be so happy to have for first time also a Croatian team, and we are lucky to have Giampiero Masi and Marco Trespidi that believe in this sport and help us. In facts Mr.Trespidi inserted our tournament for Italian female national team programme, before ECH in Spain».

At the club level, what are the Italian beach handball centers and how is your national championships structured?

«The most beach handball centers are Gaeta, Grosseto, Nuoro, Follonica, Ambra and others, and I am sorry if I forgot someone. National Championship is played as a tour, teams play in different cities in the weekends and then federarion find the best place for finals where take part the teams that got more points during all Italian tour».

Mr.Viola thank you for this kind interview. In the second part of the Gaetta representing, we will bring the interview with Mr. Antonio d’Ovidio.