Meimaridis: " Everyone is excited"

The experience and knowledge of Giannis Meimaridis are rare and constitute a supply for the Greek (OHE), european (EHF) and international handball Federation (IHF).

Mr. Meimaridis, who holds the position of Competition Manager of the World Beach Handball Championships‘’Heraklion 2022’’, has participated in a variety of major events, of all ages (including the 2018 Olympics Youth Men Games). The peak of his great career was both the final of the Men's World Championship in 2004 in Egypt, and the one of 2009 in Croatia, when he finished his career as a referee, together with the also big name in the history of Greek handball refereeing, George Bebetsos.

Mr. Meimaridis, for whom the competition in Heraklion is the 10th of those who have been involved organizationally as a member of the IHF, said on behalf of the website of the event in Heraklion: "It is one of the best events I have participated in so far with regarding the facilities it has, as well as organizationally. At the same time, it is the largest permanent facility that I have visited, for beach sports, I put it at the level of Qatar (World Beach Handball Championship in 2019), where there were also permanent facilities, such as in Heraklion".


Is there a comparative advantage for the facilities in Heraklion compared to others?

"One of the positives, which could be a comparative advantage of the facilities in Heraklion, is that they combine the beautiful landscape and the location. Here you can take a vacation. They are all excited, with the food, with the hotels, with the movement, it is a perfect event. The city is known for tourism and is hospitable, everyone behaves professionally. In addition, there are many experienced executives in the event".

Did you provide advice to the Greek Handball Federation during the decision-making process for the World Championships?

"I can only say that I was optimistic when we took over the event and determined to do everything to be crowned with success. In order to understand the magnitude of the effort, we should note that in the World Championships there are judges, who keep statistics, which - in most cases - have nothing to do with handball. OHE organized training seminars for the judges 2 months before the tournaments. Personally, I came to Heraklion 2-3 times to train judges, for whom there was no time to adjust through another event. Nevertheless, everyone speaks with the best words for these guys, they make a huge effort".

Were there any problems during the event?

"Of course they have been presented, as would happen in any event, there are surprises and details that may not have been predicted, but they are imperceptible and are resolved day by day. I feel we are giving our best. I hear a lot of positive comments from the IHF. The members of the IHF came 3 months ago and did not find anything here, where today there is this jewel of sports.Then we were all concerned, we did not know if we would in time for the competitions, everything was done in a very short time, but with the cooperation of all we achieved an excellent result. A gigantic effort was made, it is a big advertisement for the Greek Handball Federation".

How could these facilities be utilized in the future?

"We are constantly emphasizing to the local entities that ways should be found, in order to utilize the facilities, indoor and beach teams should be created, the sport should be cultivated more in Crete. Heraklion can undertake other major events. A handball tournament and even international inter-club competitions should be established every year. We could create infrastructure in other large islands, since the sea is attractive and tourism in Greece contributes to the easier arrival of the people".








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