The USA Team Handball Men’s and Women’s National Teams will take on the Canadian National Teams on Sunday, September 2, 2018, at the Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum on Auburn University’s campus. The women’s game begins at 3:00 pm, followed by the men’s game at 5:00 pm.
“This is an exceptional opportunity for people to see high level competition of an Olympic sport by two national teams,” said USATH Men’s Coach Christian Latulippe. “We are excited to host this official, sanctioned event in Auburn.”
USA also plays Canada in Montreal, Canada on Wednesday, September 5. The winner of the home and away series will be the North American representative in the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru in the summer of 2019. The first place finisher at the Pan American Games will qualify for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan. The second, third, and fourth place teams will play in the Olympic Qualification Tournament for another chance to qualify for Tokyo 2020.
USATH is partnering with the East Alabama Food Bank for a day of giving back to the community to help feed those with food insecurity. Attendees are encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item to donate upon entry to the game. Food will be collected in barrels located at the main entrance to the Coliseum on the east side adjacent to the parking lot. The event is free and open to the public and doors will open at 2:00 pm.
Auburn University School of Kinesiology has been home to the USA Team Handball Men’s and Women’s National Teams since 2013. The School assists in promoting USATH, supporting athletes, and organizing youth handball clinics around the state. Many of the USA players assist with the clinics, sharing their skills and knowledge of the game with young athletes.
“Our teams have been training hard, physically and mentally,” said Dave Gascon, USATH High Performance Chair. “The teams have achieved much success over the past four years at Auburn University and have been preparing for this moment to qualify for the Pan American Games.”
Youth from the Auburn Opelika Handball Club, a local organization developed in 2018 to foster the growing interest in team handball from elementary schools in the area, will play at halftime of both matches. Children in 2nd through 7th grade can register to join the Auburn Opelika Handball Club at https://auburnopelikahandball.usetopscore.com or at the event and receive a free t-shirt and ball.
“Our kids are so excited be a part of this international event,” said Chuck Cooper, physical education teacher at Pick Elementary School. “The kids love the sport, and it’s great that we have such a unique Olympic sport in our community.”
The games are sponsored by the Auburn University School of Kinesiology, the Auburn-Opelika Tourism Bureau, and the USA Team Handball Foundation. Community supporters include The Clarion Hotel, TownePlace Suites by Marriott, Groome Transportation, The Mason Jar, Island Wing Company, Mama Mochas Coffee Emporium, Mama Goldberg’s Deli, and Starbucks.