Almost 165 players from 11 elementary schools competed in the Grand Final of the VII edition of the Volkswagen Poznań Mini Handball Cup During the Final, the action of the young players on the court was seen by Artur Siódmiak – a former outstanding representative of Poland and Ambassador of the Mini Handball Programme. The winner of this year’s edition was Elementary School No. 5 in Poznań-Wilda.
In the playoffs for the Volkswagen Poznań Mini Handball Cup, fifteen-person teams of third-grade students take part – during the school year they learn how to play handball, and then they put their abilities to the test in the tournament organised by Volkswagen Poznań. Eleven elementary schools situated in Poznań-Wilda, Antoninek and Swarzędz were invited to participate. In total, 22 games were played, in which the young players managed to become avid handball players.
“We’ve been running the Volkswagen Poznań programme for 7 years now. To date, more than 1,500 children from Poznań-Wilda, Antoninek and Swarzędz have taken part. As a responsible neighbour, we’re striving to activate the local community, and that’s why we invite those schools which are located not far from our plants. It’s important for us to be part of the local community,” explains Monika Hajbowicz, Director of the Communications Department of Volkswagen Poznań. “The final is the culmination of many months of training and hard work on the part of the children and their trainers. You can really see the results of their efforts on the court. The children get the action going like professional sportsmen.”
Successors to the Master on the way up
The special guest at the Final on Saturday was Artur Siódmiak, who for several years has been a patron of the campaign run by the Volkswagen factory in Poznań. The former Polish representative was extremely impressed by the skills of the young handball players. “I’m delighted that the popularity of handball is not declining in Poznań. My own adventure with handball began when I was a boy not much older that these kids. They’ve got a lot of work ahead of them, but I believe that if their enthusiasm for the sport doesn’t weaken, they can achieve a lot. I think we’ve got nothing to fear for the future of handball in Poland.”
Those words were confirmed by Monika Hajbowicz of Volkswagen Poznań: “It would be a tremendous satisfaction for us if one of the participants in the programme followed in Artur’s footsteps and marked a place for themselves in the history of Polish handball. I can just remind you that the very popular “Siódym” was the hero in the quarter-final match during the World Championship in Croatia. Our team won the match against Norway in dramatic circumstances. Five seconds before the end of the game Artur took the ball and threw it the whole length of the court into the empty goal, allowing our team to advance to the semi-final (the Norwegians had pulled their goalkeeper).”
In this year’s Grand Final, two teams from Poznań-Wilda went head to head. It turned out that the young players from Elementary School No. 5 under trainer Edyta Siczyńska proved themselves the better team. They defeated their peers from Elementary School No. 21, who were coached by Grażyna Kośmicka. The final ended with a score of 7:3 for the popular “Number five”. Third place on the podium was taken by Elementary School No. 87, who defeated Elementary School No. 4 in Swarzędz in the contest for bronze.