||Message from USHA President Mike Steele
Ready to Pounce on Opportunities
Poised. That’s the word that best describes the USHA’s position at the
moment–poised to move forward on several important fronts simultaneously.
We are poised to start an aggressive grant-writing campaign. This will identify, seek out and appeal to a wide array of potential partners who see in handball an ideal venue for spreading not only the game itself but also what it promotes–a healthy lifestyle for all ages and important personal characteristics for America’s youth, to name two crucial elements of our appeal.
The USHA also is poised to reach out to numerous potential sponsors. We are working on identifying our tangible and intangible assets so potential sponsors will be able to see precisely who we appeal to, in what venues the game is showcased and the size of the potential audience as well as participants.
We have also been looking into neat ways of using modern technology to bring live Webcasts of top-level play to our loyal fan base.
There is so much potential in this approach to having handball available to large numbers of viewers. We will continue to develop this and feel poised for wider successes. In addition, other technological advances will soon allow us to improve available services on the USHA Web site.
The USHA looks forward to sharing the results of research into the physical benefits of playing the game. We have known for decades that our sport is one of the top-rated competitive experiences for those who value a high degree of fitness.
Now, facing a national epidemic of juvenile obesity, we will be making a strong case in the nation’s schools and among physical educators that handball is indeed The Perfect Game for youngsters to learn at school to help stem the tide of this health threat.
The outstanding work of Gary Cruz, the USHA’s youth development director, reveals that we have a very receptive audience among physical educators and coaches. We are poised to take advantage of that growing interest and expand on it.
We are also poised to move forward in promoting the 40 Developmental Assets. That is especially true now that the USHA board has adopted language in a resolution expressing its support for our game as a perfect place for America’s youth to learn important lessons in character development–honesty, integrity, sportsmanship, service to others, achievement, motivation, personal responsibility, interpersonal competence, enhanced self-esteem, improved ways of resolving personal conflict and numerous other crucial values.
I encourage you to visit the Search Institute’s home page to see more information about this important document. Furthermore, let me encourage all handball players, coaches and teachers to become familiar with the 40 Developmental Assets so they can see how to apply them daily in their handball interaction with youth.
The collegiate game is poised to grow beyond its record-setting year, when more than 300 players competed at the collegiate nationals, including more than 100 women in a tournament for the first time ever. This is an outgrowth of the strong USHA support the collegiate game has enjoyed in recent years and is further proof that when the game is brought to a wider audience and taught well, we can expect a much wider range of participation. Handball’s benefits are simply too obvious for people to miss.
Yes, handball has been a best-kept secret for decades. Thankfully, this is ending. We know it’s a great game, an outstanding competitive experience. There is simply no reason for handball to languish in the shadows of the American sports experience.
We have nothing to apologize for. We know we can attract and keep players. We know how to teach the game properly. We are poised to bring the game out of those shadows.
And once that happens, do not be surprised by the explosion of interest that will follow. We have already seen this in key areas we have consciously targeted. The ball is rolling now–and nothing will stop it!
Poised. Yes, but we need your help ... with continued support for the Player Development Campaign and with your very thoughtful bequests to the Endowed Legacy Fund (which creates an endowment to support further player development in perpetuity), but also with your volunteer work in schools, clubs, tournaments and clinics.
We have one Gary Cruz, for instance-but we need 50 copies of him, one for each state. You might be the one for your state! Take the challenge. Can you excite educators and schoolkids about the game and your love for it?
If so, you’re what we need! Pick up that phone and call the USHA today. We’ll be sure to get you started with what you need.
Poised. Ready for action. Spreading the word. Sharing the passion. That’s where we are!
It’s an exciting time to be a handball player.