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2019 Men’s World Championship 2019 Men’s World Championship
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Date: 1/28/2019

Following their first ever international handball competition in April 2017, Kiribati are set to make their debut in the open age group when they travel to Adelaide, South Australia for the Oceania Beach Handball Championship in February.


The U17 Beach Handball World Championship – Oceania Qualification in 2017 saw Kiribati’s maiden venture on the international stage. Two years later, the small nation of just over 115,000 people, are preparing their senior squad for what will be the biggest ever Oceania event in beach handball.


“For Kiribati, any opportunity to gain experience in handball is so valuable. As a new sport in Kiribati, with zero infrastructure and a lack of expertise within the country, it is difficult to develop handball. But the young people have grown to love this sport, in both versions of the game. They are always looking for any opportunities they can get to learn more,” says President of the Kiribati Handball Federation David Collins.


Previously, it has largely been Australia and New Zealand meeting to contest the continental title. In 2018, the American Samoa U18 team travelled to Adelaide to join the battle for the Oceania trophy as part of their preparation for the Youth Olympic Games held in Buenos Aires last October. This year, Australia, New Zealand, American Samoa, Cook Islands and Kiribati are all expected to compete for the places at the World Beach Games in San Diego later this year.


“The possibilities are exciting! In terms of goals, we just want to improve from our last competition. That one was in Rarotonga in the under 17 age group. This is open, so it will be more challenging,” says Collins. “We have limited preparation time also. But the players will try their best to perform on their field and learn from other teams when watching from the sidelines.”


The Oceania Beach Handball Championship will be played on Glenelg Beach from February 21 to 24.

Photo: Kiribati Handball Federation