Marking a historic milestone, India is set to witness South Asia’s first-ever professional Women’s Handball League (WHL) which will be featuring prominent players from the Middle East, South East, Europe, and Africa.
The groundbreaking league is promoted by Pavna Sports Venture which is the official licensee holder, under the auspices of the South Asian Handball Federation, the Asian Handball Federation, and supported by the Handball Association of India.
With six teams set to compete in the inaugural edition, the league promises to be a game- changer for women’s handball in India by not only providing a transformative platform for players to showcase their skills but also creating a platform that will be able to churn future champions from the Sport.
The inclusion of players from around the globe will enhance the league’s diversity and competitiveness, promising to create a spectacle of best-in-class Handball action for sports fans across the country.
Commenting on the announcement of the revolutionary league during the press conference, Mr. Anandeshwar Pandey, League Chairman of the Handball Association of India & Secretary General of the South Asian Handball Federation expressed, “We are proud to be part of this historic moment as we launch India’s first Women’s Handball League. This league is a significant step forward in our mission to promote and develop women’s handball across the country. By joining forces with Pavna Sports Venture and the Asian and international bodies, our aim is to elevate the standard of women’s handball in India and provide our athletes with a world-class platform to compete at the highest level. This league marks the beginning of a new era for women’s handball as well as women’s sports for our country.”
India’s Girls Handball Team won the prestigious “Asian Presidents Cup” title for the first time in Jordan last year while the Indian Girls Junior Handball team also made history by winning the Gold Medal at the Asian Junior Girls Championship and qualified for the World Championship last year.
In the Asian Games 2022, the Indian women’s handball team secured the 5th position in the rankings.
Pavna Sports Venture is set to make a substantial investment of INR 100+ crores over the next three years in the sport to focus on infrastructure development, talent identification, and creating of top-notch coaching facilities for the game at grassroots level.
The WHL also plans to integrate foreign exchange programs as a crucial part of its grassroots development initiatives with the international federations to provide a holistic development platform for players that will provide them with the necessary exposure and experience to make their name in the sport both nationally as well as globally.
“As a Corporate group, Pavna Sports Venture is a strong advocate of women’s sports empowerment, believing that sports as a tool can facilitate the growth of an individual in multiple aspects The conception of the Women’s Handball League aims to bridge existing gaps not only in women’s handball but also in women’s sports across India. Our primary goal is to establish an inclusive ecosystem that empowers women’s handball to thrive and secure a premium position within Women’s Sports Leagues in India. Through this league, we will also aim to provide a platform for the New Generation Women to achieve financial, mental, physical, and emotional independence thereby empowering and inspiring millions of women throughout the country to embrace sports. We are aiming to launch the league by January 2025,” stated Mrs. Priya Jain, Executive Director of Pavna Industries & Chairperson of Pavna Sports Venture.
Handball is recognized as the fastest Olympic sport where two teams, each comprising seven players pass a ball using their hands, aiming to throw it into the opposing team’s goal.
A standard match is divided into two periods of 30 minutes each, and the team with more goals at the end of the match emerges as the winner.
Women’s handball in India has been on the rise with over 300,000 girls and women actively engaging in handball across various levels in India, representing schools, colleges, universities, CISF, CRPF, Railways, Services Sports Control Board (Army, Navy, Airforce), Sports Authority of India, Sports Promotion Board, and more.
About Asian Handball Federation:
The Asian Handball Federation (AHF) is the governing body for handball, beach handball, and wheelchair handball in Asia. As one of the International Handball Federation’s six continental confederations, the AHF was officially formed on August 26, 1974, in Tehran, Imperial State of Iran, on the sidelines of the 7th Asian Games.
The AHF is currently headquartered in South Surrah, Kuwait, and consists of 44 member federations. It is currently led by Acting President Yoshihide Watanabe (Japan) and Muhammad Shafiq (Pakistan) is the current Secretary General, serving in the position since October 25, 2013.
About Pavna Sports Venture:
Pavna Sports Venture established in 2022 is the sports arm of Pavna Group. Pavna Group, conglomerate of Pavna Industries, Pavna Education and Pavna Spots Venture from Aligarh, UP, India. The group has 50 years of history in innovation, technology, manufacturing, and market leadership. Pavna Sports Venture holds exclusive licensing rights for the next 10 years of Women’s Handball League, with a provision for an additional 10-year extension. They are leading a role in the development of handball in India. Pavna Sports Venture is set to make a substantial investment of INR 100+ crores over the next three years in the sport to focus on infrastructure development, talent identification, and creating of top-notch coaching facilities for the game at grassroots level