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Date: 2/20/2018

The 2018 Australian Beach Handball Championships will be held from February 22 to 25 in Glenelg, South Australia, with a total of 33 teams on the sand. The 33 squads will play from three different divisions – men’s, women’s and mixed – with 11 in each.


Five national teams will be among the competitors – the men’s and women’s sides representing Australia and New Zealand, and the American Samoa women’s Under 18 team. For the squad from American Samoa, the Australian Beach Handball Championship serves as part of their preparation for the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires in October.


“This is a perfect opportunity for us to gain some experience and gauge our performance so that I can develop our next training schedules and routine,” said President of the American Samoa Handball Federation Carl J. Sagapolutele Floor Sr. “Steel sharpens steel, so having our U18 team compete against Oceania's best women will be challenging, but I expect to be competitive.”


In addition to determining the champion club side, the Australian Beach Handball Championship also acts as the qualification event for the 2018 IHF World Championship, which will take place in Kazan, Russia from 24 to 29 July. Australia have been the only representative of Oceania so far at the World Championship, with the men’s side making their first appearance in 2010 and the women’s squad debuting in 2012. Australia’s teams also contested the World Games in 2013 and 2017.


Organisers are expecting a strong competition in Glenelg, with more teams in the women’s division, more squads travelling to the event from New Zealand, and more experience from those players and teams returning. The number of courts has also been increased from three to four, to accommodate the number of matches taking place.


Fans can follow the Australia Beach Handball Championship on Instagram and Facebook.


Photo: Bronwyn Thompson