Not even the huge storms that hit Breda on Sunday afternoon could dampen the spirits of the 24 umpires and 4 mentors – from 20 different European Nations – who converged in the Netherlands for the weekend!
The U4E Programme, now in its second year, is a key part of the EHF Umpiring Strategy, sitting between the UDP Programme (Tier One) and Supporting National Growth (Tier Three). Not everyone can get on the UDP Programme, so U4E is designed to spread knowledge and friendship among the European Nations.
All umpires are given an umpire mentor for the year, and work with them at the weekend, through the U4E Facebook Group, and on Exchange Weekends. There are also Webinars with interactive presentations – so far these have been led by Laurine Delforge and Marcin Grochal. All in all, it is a great opportunity for umpires to develop their skills, share knowledge and friendship, and build the standard of umpiring throughout Europe.
But still some countries say they don’t know about it! We will be asking for nominations for next year’s U4E group in early 2015, so make sure you don’t miss out. Just ask some of the umpires in Breda last weekend whether it is worthwhile!
This is an ideal programme possibly for younger umpires, or less experienced umpires who are in the early stages of umpiring that are showing lots of potential but need more exposure and testing experiences to develop further. For more information on the U4E programme, please contact the EHF Office (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The U4E Class of 2014 is made up of the following umpires and mentors:
Karolis Asanavicius (LTU), Johannes Berneth (GER), Adrian Bucher (SUI), Gema Calderon (ESP), Daniel Denta, (DEN), Divyabhanu Singh Rathore (NOR), Ines El Hajem (FRA), Zamara Espinosa (GIB), Elodie Franchomme (FRA), Antun Gunjina (CRO), Vitas Guziejus (LTU), Tomas Holek (CZE), Wajid Khan (NOR), Darko Koncic (CRO), Lena McCrae (SCO), Kamile Mockaityte (LTU), Alistair Munro (SCO), Shane O’Donnell (IRL), Luca Ollino (ITA), Esin Ozturk (TUR), Robert Papalecca (AUT), Maksym Perepelytsya (UKR), Verena Scherz (AUT), Andoni Unceta (ESP), Hristian Vasilev (BUL).
Mentors – Tom Goode (IRL), JF Stappaerts (BEL), Tamas Hermann (HUN), John Heron (SCO).
Source and photographs: EHF/Paul Box-Grainger