Respect Your Talent W17 3
Respect Your Talent

RYT programme gives more youngsters an incredible experience

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European Handball Federation

Launched in 2019, Respect Your Talent has given young players the opportunity to learn lessons from some of the best players to have ever played the sport of handball. The W17 EHF EURO and EHF Championships provided more opportunities for players to learn from legends in a casual environment.

With the W17 EHF EURO tournament taking place in Montenegro, and EHF Championships in Türkiye and Azerbaijan, the Respect Your Talent programme had plenty of aspiring young players looking to improve their game, and there is no better way to do that than have one of the best tell them about what it takes to get to their level.

Four legends took part during the sessions which were held on Thursday 10 August in Montenegro and the next day in both Türkiye and Azerbaijan. Anja Althaus and Katarina Bulatović were stationed in Montenegro, while Andrea Lekic reported to Azerbaijan; Siraba Dembélé Pavlović participated in Türkiye.

It was Dembélé Pavlović's first time as a RYT ambassador, but she made great strides with the players. “It was interesting for me to share my experience and to be able to give some advice and direction to young players, for them to improve their play on the court, but also outside of it. It is our role as former players to do this and help the younger generations", she said about her first experience with the project.

Katarina Bulatović remarked on how positive of an experience it is for not only the girls but herself as well. "I am very proud to have been part of the project once again and happy that we can help young players if they have any questions about their career. The Respect Your Talent is a great project and I am already looking forward to the next gathering.” Her fellow Anja Althaus did mention that the girls were "a bit shy in the beginning, but in the end, they opened up and asked many questions."

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Admittedly, meeting a legend of the sport with other peers whom they have competed against can cause people to be shy. "It is normal to be shy, but they are only at the beginning of their journey and have discussed sports law, media, anti-doping, all of these topics for the first time", added Althaus.

Nevertheless, once the ice was broken, the girls were engaged and asked their role models many questions on various subjects, as Andrea Lekic mentioned after the event had concluded. "They were all a bit shy at the beginning, but by the end of the event we grew closer, they were asking many questions and were seeking my advice on different topics. Through the conversation with them, I saw they were mostly interested in mental health and how to cope with criticism. I hope that my experience and advice will help them further in their careers and that this morning stays a beautiful memory, not only for me, but for each girl who was in the playing hall today."

In the next step of the RYT programme in 2023, the All-star Team players of all YAC events will be invited to the three-day RYT Camp in December, where those off-court topics will be explored in even more detail with RYT experts and ambassadors.

Also, the RYT app has become available for the potential stars of the future. In the app they will be able to sharpen their off-court skills through learning content, quizzes, and advice from the ambassadors.

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