On Saturday 16th September 2017 took place the Handball Congress “Medical and Training Aspects in Handball” at the International University of Health, Exercise and Sports LUNEX, in Differdange, Luxembourg. The congress which focused on injury prevention in one of the most popular team sports was of high scientific quality and had an international dimension with participants from all over Europe.

This event was the 11th Sports Medical Workshop and the 2nd Meeting on Medical Aspects in Handball organised by the Luxembourg Academy of Medicine, Physical Therapy and Science into Sports. It attracted around 150 people, among these researchers, physiotherapists and medical doctors working in the field of handball and sports medicine, as well as trainers, athletes and the broader public.

This year’s congress theme aimed to reflect on different aspects in and around the prevention of injuries and the preparation to Handball games. The topics addressed were chosen with care so as to highlight different facets of injuries occurring in Handball, their prevention and the physical preparation that allows to optimise Handball performance.

The congress featured nine international and five national speakers, ranging from well-known scientists and medical doctors in the field of injury prevention, injury surveillance and physiotherapy to trainers and coaching experts in physical preparation in Handball, namely Prof Kurt Steuer, Dr Jesper Bencke, Dr Markus Waldén, Dr Lior Laver, Dr Gérard Juin, Dr Lars Michalsik, Dr Merete Moller, Dr Patrick Luig and Stig Andersson. The opening lecture “Why do we need a handball medicine?” was given by Prof Romain Seil, orthopedic surgeon at the Centre Hospitalier de Luxembourg and current ESSKA president, and a guest lecture was held by Olivier Krumbholz, former professional player and coach of the French women’s national team, which whom he won the World Championship in 2003.. Special guest to the congress was Prof Nebojsa Popovic, former Olympic Handball Gold Medal winner in 1972 and Orthopaedic Surgeon and Senior Medical Advisor at Aspetar, Doha, and editor-in-chief of the Aspetar Sports Medicine Journal, as well as Helmut Höritsch, senior manager responsible for education and development of the European Handball Federation (EHF).

Members of the Sports Medicine Research Laboratory at LIH’s Department of Population Health were among the speakers, chairs and organisers. Dr Laurent Malisoux, scientist at the Sports Medicine Research Laboratory (SMRL) gave a presentation on “The Why’s and How’s of injury monitoring: an example from U17 Handball in Luxembourg” with Véronique Jung, Master student in the research unit. ’What started as an idea of a national meeting for Handball trainers quickly grew into one of the biggest conferences in Handball injury prevention in Europe’ says Eric Besenius, research assistant at the SMRL and organiser of the congress, together with Jérôme Pauls and Prof Romain Seil, both CHL. ‘Gathering together Europe’s most renowned scientific and medical researchers in Handball has been a challenge, but the fruitful meeting puts Luxembourg on a map as potential future base for medical and scientific research in Handball injury prevention.’ concludes Eric Besenius.

The handball congress provided ample occasions to summarise the current state of knowledge and stimulate discussions between different stakeholders. ‘Our congress was a great success’, says Prof Daniel Theisen, Head of the Sports Medicine Research Laboratory. ‘We got a lot of positive feedback, both from participants and from the international experts who joined us to hold the various conference topics. We had further fruitful exchanges during the “Luxembourg Consensus Meeting on Handball Injuries” that was linked to the event. There, experts were discussing the edition of a book on handball medicine and reflecting on new collaborative research projects.’ stresses Prof Theisen.

Link to RTL Television report: http://tele.rtl.lu/emissiounen/de-journal/3102387.html