Kiel, 25 August 2016: When three strong partners come together to support the next generation of German handballers, the little ones can look forward to big things: In the THW-YOUNGstar sponsorship project, THW Kiel is supporting young players throughout Germany together with the "star" petrol station brand and “Handball-Camp”. Some celebrity backers are also ready to help out: The two national squad-members Andreas Wolff and Patrick Wiencek of THW Kiel are sponsors of the innovative project.
star petrol stations have been an official partner of THW Kiel for more than five years. At the start of the 2016/2017 season, this partnership was extended to become the main sponsor of the 20-time German Champions. In addition to its involvement with the professional team in the DKB Federal Handball League and the VELUX EHF Champions League, star is now also actively committed along with the German record holders to youth work and promoting the next generation of players. Handball-Camp has also come on board as a partner for the implementation of the project. Handball-Camp is a leader in the organisation and execution of handball camps and is responsible at THW Kiel for the training and coordination of the junior team.
The joint aim of all those involved is the long-term promotion of the next generation of handball players in Germany. With that in mind, along with the partnership with star petrol stations for more than 200 youth handball camps, new joint projects such as the THW-YOUNGstar programme have been launched. This represents a unique five-stage sponsorship concept for up-and-coming young talent aged between 10 and 15.
Stage 1: Talented youngsters from throughout Germany can qualify for the THW-YOUNGstar programme at one of the numerous handball camps organised throughout the year by Handball-Camp, and supported by star. Or they can submit a home-made video showing what they are capable of.
Stages 2 and 3: At regional one-day camps in the three large key regions of Germany, North Rhine-Westphalia, Berlin and Hamburg, the talented youngsters are promoted and screened according to the training concept of Handball-Camp. Then a decision is reached in interactive competitions and by a jury about who can move on to the next stage, the national weekend camp in Kiel.
Stages 4 and 5: Seven outstanding young talents emerge from the weekend camp and are invited to the star Excellence Week in Kiel. In the "finals" they can meet star's player-mentors and THW trainer Alfred Gislason, and finally the first THW-YOUNGstar will be chosen from among them. This player can look forward to the final phase of the programme, a six-month scholarship from star, under the instruction of the THW academy trainer and with the sponsorship of THW Federal League professionals Andreas Wolff and Patrick Wiencek.
"For us, supporting up-and-coming handball players is a significant part of our sporting commitment at THW Kiel," explains Wieslaw Milkiewicz, Managing Director and media spokesperson for the petrol station brand star. "Young talent must be recognised and supported at an early age in Germany; that is our aim. We see it as our responsibility to not only support the professionals, but also to ensure that the sport inspires even more people in future. For this reason we have already agreed to continue the collaboration for the next three years."
Thorsten Storm, Manager of THW Kiel adds, "it is important for handball that outstanding talent is discovered and developed at an early age. With the THW-YOUNGstar programme, we and our partners are breaking new ground throughout Germany for the future of our sport. Perhaps the THW-YOUNGstar programme will produce the future European champion?"
The two star player-mentors of THW Kiel are looking forward to working with the up-and-coming players. "It is great to be part of the THW-YOUNGstar programme as a mentor. We started off 'small', too, and hope that we will be able to help talented young players on their journey with our tips and tricks," say Wolff and Wiencek, looking forward to the sponsorship programme.
Talent coordinator at THW Kiel, Klaus-Dieter Petersen, is of the same opinion. "The THW-YOUNGstar programme creates the perfect basis for the long-term discovery and promotion of talent. We are look forward to informative training sessions and great experiences."
Mannhard Bech, founder of Handball-Camp, takes a similar view. "I have been organising handball camps since 2003. Each year we have recruited partners that support this sport for kids in the way it deserves. After over ten years, THW Kiel and star petrol stations are now giving us the opportunity to take a leap forward together in terms of quality. With over 200 camps each year, we are Europe’s biggest provider and collectively we can achieve a major step for the promotion of young talent in Germany. Terrific! We are delighted about the partnership and grateful for your confidence in us."
Chart: Jung talent development concept THW-YOUNGstar
star – a strong brand from ORLEN Deutschland GmbH
star is the petrol station brand of ORLEN Deutschland GmbH, which has been operating over 570 petrol stations in Northern Germany since 2003. The company, based in Elmshorn near Hamburg, is part of the Polish mineral oil and petrochemical group PKN ORLEN SA, which is the largest Central Eastern European group, with an annual turnover of 21 billion euros in 2015.
PKN ORLEN SA is listed on the Warsaw and London stock exchanges and is represented on the petrol station market in Eastern and Central Europe with a total of 2,700 petrol stations in Poland, the Czech Republic, Germany and Lithuania. Large investments have been made in Lithuania and the Czech Republic in recent years to bring the group a step closer to its goal of becoming the leading oil company in Central Europe.
ORLEN Deutschland GmbH
Wieslaw Milkiewicz / Managing Director and Press Officer
Andreas Khan / Head of Marketing & PR
THW Kiel Handball-Bundesliga GmbH & Co. KG
THW Kiel is the most successful and well known German handball club of the past two decades. The "Zebras" have won the German championship 20 times – a record. The Kiel team have won the DHB cup nine times – also a record. And no other German team has ever won Europe's premier competition, the Champions League, more times than THW Kiel. The Kiel team has triumphed three times in this, the world’s most important club competition. "Tradition lives through exercise" is the motto of THW Kiel, which supports and encourages talent through intensive youth work. For THW, for Kiel and for handball in Germany.
Christian Robohm / Press Officer
Handball-Camp is a trademark of CommEvent Management GmbH from Kiel. The agency, founded in 2003, is Europe’s biggest provider of handball camps with over 5,000 participants training at various camps in over 200 locations each year. Trained camp coaches and almost 20 permanent employees take care of the planning, organisation and implementation of events. The founder is Mannhard Bech, a former player for THW Kiel and the German national handball team. Bech, probably the best youth coach in Germany (MainPost 2014), also trains the cooperation team in the 3rd division, TSV Altenholz.
CommEvent Management GmbH
Mannhard Bech / Managing Director
Sebastian Zuther / Managing Director