Coach Julio Sainz and Los Angeles Team Handball Club came back from El Salvador as Central American Champions. The squad defeated the hosts, Guatemala, Costa Rica and Nicaragua. For them an unforgettable experience and a great deal of growth.
Handsport talked to Coach Julio about the title as well as the sport popularity in the United States and the first world title by a Panamerican country.
What was the strength of your team to win the championship?
The team collectively played well and I believe all aspects of the games were executed well. The defense was strong, and the attack was effective. Needless to say, our goalie Camilla Orberg had an amazing tournament. She was very effective when the team was challenged by the other teams' offense. However, I believe that the team's commitment to the tactical ideas presented by the coaching staff and the team's confidence led the club to the tournament.
How often does the Los Angeles press talk about your team? Has the popularity of handball increased in the city after the team's results?
We were not published at all in any L.A. based sports newspapers. However, the club's performance was highly amplified by several handball pages, blogs and social media in USA. I believe that everybody in the handball community was very happy about our success in El Salvador.
Do you believe that the world title by Brazil will bring any chances to USA Team Handball, once the Americas will have five spots in the next World Championship?
Brazil winning the World Championship has not only provided Panamerican Team Handball with another spot in the world championship. They have additionally opened the doors of the region to the world. Brazil's amazing performance has motivated every single country in Panamerica to continue to work in the development of handball. Therefore, the extra spot that they have achieved for us will definitely serve as a motivation to countries like ours to work hard and fight for a spot at World Championships.
Do you also coach in the clinics promoted by LATHC?
I have been coaching and lecturing clinics here in Los Angeles for a while now. In 2011, USATH partnered with us, and I conducted several presentations across Los Angeles. Unfortunately, the initiative came to an end, for reasons out of our control. However, we are happy to announce that LATHC and USATH have partnered with LEARNLA and we will resume the clinics in January. The first clinic has been scheduled for January 9, 2014 and will be targeting 17 middle schools interested in including handball in their sport's curriculum.
What is the main championship you play?
The biggest championship LATHC plays is the National Tournament and it is hosted every year by USATH. LATHC has been fortunate to be regular participant in these tournaments since the club's inception in 2001. The club has continuously participated in the open division and the elite division. It won the elite division in 2010 and was runner up in 2012. 2013 was the club's first participation in the women's division. The President, Michael Hinson and I, worked on one of my personal dreams that was creating a competitive women's team. Through hard work and commitment we were able to fulfill this goal and we proudly competed the 2013's season with a very strong women's team.
This story was originally posted by Handsport and can be found on their website here.