Ian Hodgson: "Who doesn't want to play beach handball on a Greek island?

The USA beach handball team was first formed about 1 year ago and started training about 4 months ago. This is their first participation in any competition as a junior national team. Today they even managed to get their first win in their history as they defeated Togo 2-0 set.

One of the athletes on the team is 17-year-old Ian Hodgson, who is also the leading scorer in the California Youth League, playing for San Francisco.

In America, handball and beach handball in particular is certainly not very widespread. When it's also a country where other sports are more prominent, you certainly don't expect a kid to take up handball.

"I started playing handball at the age of 13. A coach came to my school and taught me the sport. I found it really unique and fun so I decided to get involved," were his first words. Our coach last year, after the end of the season, also introduced us to beach handball. I found that even more fun and interesting. I loved the jumps, the spins, the fast pace of it, so I started to get into it as well. In my country handball is not that popular. But in recent years it is starting to grow and I hope in the future it will become even stronger."

Practices in the league are almost daily. "We practice 3-4 times a week. In our league there is a national championship and there are around 20 teams participating, divided into groups. The league ended about a month ago.

As far as beach handball is concerned, as a junior national team we started training about 4 months ago and came here. This is our first time participating in an event as a junior national team and we are very excited."

Since this is his first time visiting Greece, we asked him to describe his first impressions. "Everything is fantastic here. The facilities, the sun, the sea. We are playing on a Greek island. Who wouldn't want to play in such a landscape? "

Finally, he said he would like to continue playing handball for the rest of his life, while he was cautious about his future in handball as his goal is to study mathematics and combine handball.

"I hope to continue playing handball for the rest of my life. It's really fun and I think I can play on a good team as well. It's still too early to say if I can make the jump to Europe but I would like to. I also want to study math and I think I can combine studies and handball."








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