Tuesday, January 25

A little female handball World Cup on the benches

Ehe Women’s Handball World Cup has expanded to 32 teams competing in Spain 2021. But the number of them led by a woman has not followed the same relationship. Only four, Russia, Montenegro, the Netherlands and Kazakhstan, have a coach in charge. The first two, former world-class players, Liudmila Bodnieva and Bojana Popovic, respectively. In this regard, handball lags behind other team sports. At the 2018 Women’s Basketball World Cup they were a quarter, four out of 16; and in football, even more so, eight out of 24.

Neither in club competitions it does well. Only two of the 16 who remain in the Champions League have a coach. And in the Iberdrola Guerreras League there have never been more than two; Currently there are Cristina Cabeza (Unicaja Banco Gijn) and Dolores Martn (Sant Quirze), between 14. “In my National Coach course we were 35 and I was the only woman,” recalls Cabeza, who adds another data: among the 202 Spanish clubs in national category, male and female, only eight have a first coach.

“It is very sad and shameful”, he thinks, that in the maximum escape from his sport only four women appear directing national teams. “We women must be doing something wrong,” he concludes.

An institution in Spanish and European women’s handball, Cristina Mayo, who for a period was a Spanish coach, attributes this subordinate situation of the coaches in her sport to reasons that have little to do with their training. “We know that to become a coach, which is a job with many stripes, there is a lot of politicking, and women are not interested in entering those wars. High competition is very tough and men like wrestling more. For the record, but the nature of women does not tend to these wars, “says Mayo.

We women must be doing something wrong

Cristina Cabeza – Spanish coach promises

It is striking that the most socially advanced countries with equal rights, among which the Nordics and some Central Europeans stand out, do not entrust their women’s teams to women, although in the past both Norway and now the Netherlands did.

The Netherlands coach Monique TijstermanEFE

Bodnieva is the last card that Russia plays after the lurch it has given in recent years, including the dismissal a year ago of Ambros Martín, and a myth like Popovic has taken over Montenegro after burning stages after his retirement.

Reconcile in the elite

In the lower categories, there is a greater number of women directing national teams. Cabeza combines his club with that of Spanish promises. “The family conciliation there is easier; in the elite it is more complicated,” he explains. “Taking the step is more difficult, or we are not brave enough. We have to be brave to stand out in a masculinized world,” says a professional who is classified as a “handball coach, not female handball.”

High competition is very tough and men like fighting better

Cristina Mayo – Former Coach

“I like coaches like Cristina Mayo, who motivates and defends you,” said former player Natalia Morskova during a recent MSW colloquium in Seville. Mayo left its mark on several generations of players and on national handball. Now, away from him, she sees her sport in perspective: “What must be respected is that if there are trained women who aspire to lead a national team, they should not be ignored or the doors closed on them.”


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