Exclusive interview with Michael Wiederer

Exclusive interview with Michael Wiederer

This exclusive interview is part of a special series meant to celebrate EOSE’s 15th Anniversary!

Michael Wiederer is the President of the European Handball Federation. As part of the EOSE’s 15th Anniversary special campaign, it is a pleasure and an honour that he agreed to contribute highlighting key challenges and opportunities ahead for the sport movement and his own Federation.

Enjoy the read!



You were elected as the 4th President of the European Handball Federation in late 2016 but have also been shaping the Federation since its creation as you were the first General Secretary. Would you share with us your ambition and main priorities for the future of EHF and some lessons learned from your first year as President of one of the most important European sport federation?

MW: “First of all, the European Handball Federation has steadily up risen since its beginnings in 1991. It means that success was, and is, always defined by various fields including the economic component on the one hand and the stability of the competitions in a seemingly reciprocal status quo; all of this fits together with the technical and development aspects that a traditional sport is confronted with again and again. Consequently, the coming periods will be defined by the same prerequisites to the sport as it was in the past, as it faces the ever-changing modalities of the social and life in relation to business and political developments.

As already presented in 2016, in the short-term it will be necessary to define the sport’s marketing strategy and to use the global interest handball is currently receiving to the advantage of the sport. Personally, I do not see too many changes in my life; there is not too much of a departure from the responsibilities faced previously as the Secretary General that I face now as a professional president -I just had to add more representative tasks to my planning.”


EHF is a pioneer in the extent of its involvement and investment in Education and Training programmes for the sake of the game. Can you let us know why Education has always been a pillar of your Federation and what avenue you see for the future?

MW: Handball is an intellectual sport with many mental and technical challenges for all involved from the players and the coaches to the referees and delegates as well. Therefore, the technical level was always in the focus of the EHF understanding that we have a responsibility for the many people working in and for handball. In order to harmonise education and further education the EHF Competence Academy & Network (EHF CAN) founded in 2008 is the expert platform for organising all educational measures within the EHF, but also supporting the handball institutions within our 52 Federations. It is the strategy of the EHF not to extend permanent commissions, but to count on external experts and to enter into partnerships with institutions which have the know-how. In this respect, the work with universities paid off and resulted in an EHF master’s programme for coaches being approved by the European university system, in addition to manager education programmes for club and federation managers.


EHF is a partner of a new EU funded project (Erasmus+) led by EOSE entitled ONSIDE (“Innovative education to enhance the skills of Sport Officials in Europe”) to start on 1st January 2018. The focus of this innovative project is on sport officials (e.g. umpires, referees, judges) which are at the heart of sport and involved in competitions/games/contests from grassroots to the elite level. Why did EHF agree to be involved in the project as partner and what are your expectations?

MW: “The partnership with the EOSE in general and in particular the ONSIDE project perfectly meets the interest of the EHF to benefit from the exchange of best practice experience and to further develop conceptual approaches mainly in the field of dual career of players, education, certification, and employability options. Also an additional element to this is the encouragement of good governance and to have this paired with practical skills.”


EOSE is celebrating its 15th Anniversary in December 2017 and has been advocating and facilitating collaborative action for skills development in the sport and physical activity sector since its inception. When was the first time you heard about the work carried on by EOSE? Do you have any special anniversary message for the organisation?

MW: “EOSE in its 15 years of existence is a rather young organisation, like the EHF; we share the idea of driving sport forward and of providing quality management in the interest of this development. We can see the possibility of keeping persons being active in sport in the sport branch, and by that, creating a broader basis for professionalization.”


Interview by Carole Ponchon, EOSE European PR & Projects manager


EOSE – European Observatoire of Sport and Employment

A new wave for the sport and active leisure sector

Ensuring the right skills in the right place

Retour en haut

Back to
the top