Switzerland aim for the main round with #TEAMWORK

FEATURE: Switzerland are carrying the names of their fans on their shirt, as a smart idea turned into a successful campaign before the start of the EHF EURO 2020

Look closely at the Swiss shirts to see the names of their fans! Photo © Nebojsa Tejic / kolektiff

How many times have you seen players or coaches thank their loved ones or their friends after a successful result?

“It could not have happened without their help,” is definitely a true statement.

It is tough leaving friends and family behind during a busy tournament like the EHF EURO. Despite being cheered for by hundreds of fans, players often feel homesick and will always take up the chance to spend time with their loved ones.

But the Swiss Handball Federation have taken things up a notch.

For the EHF EURO 2020, they launched a unique campaign to bring the fans closer to the players and, in a way, right on to the court.

What #TEAMWORK means

#TEAMWORK was a project launched in late October, which invited all Swiss handball fans to take part in a “one for all, all for one” campaign.

The idea was to bring the fans closer and to unite everybody in a team. Fans were invited to register their name on the federation’s website, with the chance of having it printed on the Swiss players’ jerseys for the EHF EURO.

More than 1,000 fans registered and all of them have their names printed on Switzerland’s shirts, etched in the players’ numbers.

“A team is more than the sum of its members, and yet the individual players are important cornerstones. The ambition to win, the absolute will to do the best, fighting to the end, taking responsibility, standing up for one another - all aspects determine success,” was the idea behind #TEAMWORK.

“It is a great feeling to feel our fans so close and this was a great idea. The fans help us a lot, we’ve got some friends’ names here and it also helps us in crucial moments,” says goalkeeper Nikola Portner.

A successful tournament for the Swiss

So far the tactic seems to have paid off. After a slow start against Sweden, Switzerland recorded their biggest ever win in the tournament, 31:24, in the second game against Poland.

The Swiss are facing a must-win match with Slovenia on Tuesday, with another points to their tally seeing them in the main round for the first time in history.

There have been more than 500 Swiss fans at each game in Gothenburg, enthusiastically chanting “Hopp Schwiiz” whether their team are winning or losing.

“We will take the same mentality and we will be focused the same and try to win. But to win in the EHF EURO is a superb feeling,” says Portner.

If their talismanic 36-year-old centre back Andre Schmid is on form again, another win could well be on the cards. Schmid was superb in the win against Poland, scoring 15 goals.

"I left all my energy on the court and I will barely be able to walk after it. I am feeling like a 40-year old, but we will give our all against Slovenia,” concludes Schmid.

written by Adrian Costeiu / jh