Dr. Raquel Barnes President of the World Handball Council was invited to speak at the Speedbooks Kaatsen European Youth Championship of 2021 in Franeker, Holland this past weekend. The Board of the Royal Handball Association "Koninklijke Nederlandse Kaatsbon"(KNKB) and the Board of the Keatsmuseum in Franeker invited Dr. Barnes to be present at the official opening of the Youth Championship on Thursday October 21. Among the speakers were the Olympic Chair from the National Olympic Committee of Holland. At the event, Handball players from 6 European countries battled for the European titles on 22,23,24 October in three games: Llarges, the European game, and Wallball. The KNKB was very pleased to organize the European tournament this year, the Keatsmuseum was able to display a temporary exhibition: with the theme of, "From Paris to Pyeongchang", telling the story about hand ball modalities sports, its players and medal winners from Friesland at the Olympic Games.
In 1900 and 1908 a hand sport from Franeker was a competitive sport and was a demonstration sport at the Olympics five times, such as in the games of 1928 in Amsterdam. Besides that, there is a display of the 32 olympic medals of Friesian Sportsmen to be admired from the Netherlands. Wallball is a fast rising handball variant in Holland. The government's province of Fryslan and the KNKB have embraced Wallball and consider this variant as a sport with Olympic potential! The Keatsmuseum joins this thought in her exhibition and organizes in cooperation with the KNKB, prior to the Speedbooks Youth Championship, a clinic was provided and at the official opening ceremonies, Dr. Barnes gave a message of hope and introspection on how one person can impact the lives of many in the world. Two top tiered mixed doubles teams from Friesland gave a demonstration match in Wallball, with expert commentary. Dr. Barnes later met with the CIJB President Alberto Soldado to continue their collaborative efforts in relaunching the World Wall Ball Association (WWBA) an instrument that allows the 25 countries to merge as a true sporting federation in attempts to apply for International Federation Status for the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF) the umbrella organization for all (Olympic and non-Olympic) international sports federations, as well as organizers of international sporting events such as the World Games. The race for 40 countries is very real and tangible within the next 5 yeas with everyone working together. If you want to see the sport go Olympic, the first step is GAISF to improve a global branding for Wallball, write your national regulatory bodies and ask how Wallball can be part of GAISF. One person can make an impact.