A gala evening at the Scalaria in St. Wolfgang, Austria on Wednesday night has thrown off the celebrations for the European Handball Federation's 25-year-anniversary which is officially celebrated on Friday.
Hundreds of guests were in attendance, and many of them had accompanied the EHF on its way since the organisation's foundation in 1991.
“It's delightful to have a crowd of friends here for this 25th anniversary, to have partners, close partners with us,” said EHF President Jean Brihault.
“Tonight I think it's the spirit of celebration and really there is something to celebrate: 25 years of success, 25 years of fun, 25 years of excitement. This is something to be treasured.”
Brihault's counterpart on the world level, IHF President Hassan Moustafa, seconded: “Europe is the heart of handball. We are are trying to further develop and promote our sport to the world, keeping in mind what Europe has achieved.
“This means that the relation between the two federations is really important for us to continue to bring handball to the world.”
Moustafa's predecessor, Erwin Lanc, who has been IHF President from 1984 to 2000, underlined the importance of the EHF's location in Vienna and the heart of Europe.
“It has been an advantage for the EHF to sit in a city in the middle of Europe so that everybody could get in easy contact with the secretariat, and that is always the pre-condition for good work,” he said.
The EHF's senior competition manager, Markus Glaser, said that 25 years are a reason to celebrate, but no reason to relax and only look back at what has been achieved.
“I think it would a mistake to say that we reached the top. We have achieved a lot, but I'm sure there is more to come and we should all stay excited about this,” said Glaser.
The official 25-year-anniversary gala for the EHF takes place on Friday, 18 November also in St. Wolfgang.