While majority of students fought with July exam periods, at the Jarun hot sand in Zagreb new page of University sport has been written. Beach Handball took its place among sports that are played every two years as a part of EUSA European Universities Games.
Beach Handball players of University of Belgrade right away grabbed a piece of history by winning silver medal and attracting new players and fans of this exciting sport.
MVP of the tournament, Rastko Aničić, evoked his memories to Zagreb and the result him and his team made.
“I go to the Zagreb lake for three years now and I am always happy for returning there. Hosts are always kind and hearty and I feel like I am playing at a home field there. From the Championship we didn´t know what to expect. Other teams were unknown to us because this was the first University competition. It turned out that the group was strong – first two games we lost. Later in the competition every set counted, every ball and every goal”, started the story captain of University of Belgrade team.
Road to the finals was not easy, team showed maturity and readiness to play serious matches and to reach good result.
“Game versus University of Barcelona was the most intense. Both we and them played precisely. Without many mistakes and scoring one goal each. We had to wait and see who will be more concentrated. We lost the first set in the last seconds and lost the second the same way. We repeated the situation from the group stage. However, I knew that this time we cannot lose. In the shootout we were better than them – we analyzed the defeat good. We learned their weaknesses, used it and reached a medal.
University sport makes professional players and Rastko Aničić thinks that it is necessary to pull in the people out of University circles so that Beach Handball can reach its full potential.
“I have to point out that we have really good players and that we managed to make a team, which is difficult for professional clubs also. Now it is necessary to transfer the enthusiasm to new players in and outside of University circles in order to keep the level of quality and success. You know, in University sport the biggest problem is continuity. In two or three years most of us will no longer be at the University. You cannot expect that new generations will come and repeat success in long therm. There are too many pieces to combine, and a lot of variables. Because of that only thing left is to keep the way of success and to use best as possible next year, because all of will be here and improve our game to try to make Beach Handball popular in Serbia. Because of European Universities Games Belgrade will receive new Beach Handball courts. Without it, it would be impossible to make anything.
When a team makes a good result it is expected from them to do it again, or to be even better. Aničić thinks that a team mustn´t have imperative to win if they want to play a good game.
“I think that our imperative next year shouldn´t be winning the gold medal. Don´t you misunderstand me, of course we will tend to be the best and to win the gold in front of our crowd at the event of this size. It is a rare opportunity to live that, but setting a goal too high can often create pressure so that they cannot show their full potential. And it is reached only when the team is relaxed and full of confidence.”
He also said that the beauty of the game, fair-play, attractive moves are the main things that expect us next year in Belgrade at the European Universities Games.
“Silver in Zagreb brought us confidence. What is left is to play without imperative and result will come, because we have the necessary quality. What we should take care of is the beauty of the game, fair-play and attractive moves. In that way, team gets relaxed and results are better. Biggest award for us will be that people will have the opportunity to see us live and results will come. We want to show Serbia how good we are and how beautiful Beach Handball is. Far more dynamic and interesting that the traditional Handball. Unfortunately, not a lot of people know that. It is up to us to show them”, concluded Rastko Aničić.