American Open Handball Championship, A Smashing Success in Gulf Shores Over Weekend

Posted by | April 29, 2014 | News & Events | No Comments
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The first annual American Open Beach Handball Championship (AOBHC) hit the white sands of Gulf Shores, Ala., over the weekend, and from all accounts, the Championships were a smashing success. The U.S. National team won in the women’s division, while a team from Colombia won in the men’s division. Pictured (L-R) are: Darrick Heath, a former U.S. Olympic handball player; Robert Craft, Mayor of Gulf Shores; Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich, United States Sports Academy President and CEO; Dennis Berkholtz, a former U.S. Olympic handball player and coach; and Christian Latulippe, U.S. Team Handball coach.

The first annual American Open Beach Handball Championship (AOBHC) hit the white sands of Gulf Shores, Ala., over the weekend, and from all accounts, the Championships were a smashing success.

The U.S. National team won in the women’s division, while Isla Colombia won on the men’s side. The Miami Panthers were the runner-up on the men’s side, followed by the U.S. National team. The women’s runner-up was Isla Colombia.

Gulf Shores Mayor Robert Kraft presented the winning teams with the Annual Mayor’s Cup, which will be presented each year and displayed in the Gulf Shores City Hall.

“The Championships were a great success with a lot of exciting competition which included a great turnout from the local community,” said Dede Piankova, Chairperson of USA Beach Handball. “I would especially like to thank our sponsors, Mayor Robert Kraft and his office, The Hangout and the Orange Beach Sports Commission. We couldn’t have held the event without all their assistance.”

Piankova says the American Open Beach Handball Championship will continue as annual event and take place on the last weekend of April. She hopes to build on this year’s event and bring more Beach Handball championships to the beautiful beaches of Gulf Shores in the future.

In addition to the competition, the AOBHC also included workshops to learn more about the sport of Beach Handball and also featured tournament and instruction to more than 200 youth during the weekend event.

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