We use cookies

By continuing to browse ihf.info, you agree to our terms of use , privacy policy and the use of cookies. For more information, please review our cookie policy.



Date: 7/12/2012

It is hot on the centre court – really hot. The thermometer reads 35 degrees Celsius tonight. It is the first matchday of the main round, the fourth one of the Beach Handball World Championship. It wasn’t any colder the days before. The teams from Croatia and Norway are sweating and the referees too. “It’s our job”, Joanna Brehmer stated succinctly. The lady with the blond braids knows the circumstances at beach handball tournaments. Together with her partner Agnieszka Skowronek she has been whistling at international level for more than seven years.    


Brehmer, a former top player in the Polish first division, stopped her career at the age of 23due to a serious injury. But she did not stop her commitment to handball. Together with “Aga” she started a career as a referee. “Beach handball was a good school for us”, Skowronek explains. “We got a lot of chances to climb on a higher level.” Since 2009 they have also been whistling international indoor handball matches. Both of them remember their personal highlight that was the final of the Men’s World Games Tournament in Kaohsiung (Taiwan).  For the first time ever a female couple whistled a men’s final. “It is a great memory although it hasn’t been our toughest match”, Joanna says. “We had to whistle a local derby in the Polish Extra League in our home region”, Agnieszka explains: “When I talked to Joanna after the match I said: “We made it, now we can do everything.” On the beach of the Gulf of Oman the couple from Poland is currently struggling with the hot temperatures.


The IHF provides assistance. For the first time during a beach tournament the referees get a headset. “It helps us quite a lot. We can communicate in our first language. So we may keep fully concentrated”, Joanna Brehmer reveals. During the Beach Handball World Championship the IHF is testing something else. Referees from different countries form a couple to officiate in the consolation round.


For the moment the Polish couple is happy together and they want to continue for quite a while. The reason for that is easy: They have a dream! “Our dream is to whistle an Olympic final”, Joanna Brehmer says. “But we know that we have to go step by step to reach this goal.” The Beach Handball World Championship is one step on the road to the Olympics.