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Date: 5/2/2017

As Oceania’s Under 17 beach handball teams prepare for the IHF U17 Beach Handball World Championship – Men's & Women's Qualification Games, one nation can look forward to a special moment.


The Qualification Games see teams from Kiribati competing in their first ever international handball tournament, with both men’s and women’s sides travelling to the event in the Cook Islands.


The opportunity for the island nation’s U17 beach handball teams comes on the back of the first ever handball tournament held in Kiribati in 2016, organised in partnership between the Kiribati Handball Federation and the Teinainano Urban Council.


Kiribati’s teams were selected in April following a Beach Handball Development Course run by Australia’s Andrew Kelso on behalf of the IHF, which was attended by 50 male and female players. From that group, a squad of 21 was chosen, and training has since been ongoing at Eita beach before the teams travelled to Rarotonga, Cook Islands.


In Rarotonga, Kiribati will compete against teams from host nation Cook Islands, Australia, New Zealand and American Samoa. The top two teams in each gender will qualify for the Men’s and Women’s U17 Beach Handball World Championship in July.


“Hopes are high that the teams will represent Kiribati proudly, perform their best and give themselves the best chance to qualify for the World Championships,” says the official statement of the Kiribati Handball Federation.


Fans and supporters can follow the Kiribati Handball Federation on Facebook.