Back at Heden after 50 years
This is the 50th year that Partille Cup is played and there are of course an infinite number of stories to tell from the years gone by. Göran Åberg from Finland participated in the premiere year and this year he is back at Heden.
“It’s great to be here! It’s a fantastic tournament that has grown every year. I don’t remember exactly how big it was 50 years ago but now it has grown to become the world’s largest tournament”, he says while looking out over Heden Arena.
“The reason why we came here at that time was that we had a Swedish team leader, Folke U Persson, who had a well-connected handball network in Sweden and was told about Partille Cup. We were glad that we got the chance to experience it”.
Göran visited the tournament a couple years back as well and develops his thoughts on the new and what has still been kept intact.
“When I was here as a 14 year old it was a fantastic experience, I remember. I probably feel the same atmosphere then as now. Then it was played partly on gravel and partly on grass, I think, and the pitches were in great condition”.
“I think it is fantastic that the tournament has become so international, it takes handball further and you can learn something from each team”.
This year he is in Gothenburg to follow his grandchild, Nicole Haakana, who plays in Team Kisakallio in the G14 class.
“They played the first game yesterday (Tuesday) and it went really well”.
“They won 21–6 and now I hope they continue on the same line. Though winning is not the most important thing, but it feels good to do so”.
For Göran, his career was successful at domestic level with won championships and games for the Finnish national team.
“Since the visit here at Partille Cup I continued to play handball until I was almost 30 years old. I was in the Finnish national team, my first match with the men’s national team was when I was 17”.
“Then I played in Helsingfors IFK where we won three Finnish championships, some silver medals and a bronze”, he explains and says that after the handball career his focus turned to a job in logistics and transport.
Whether Nicole makes a similar journey or not is of course unclear at the moment, but the joy for being with friends and just simply playing the sport is the essential part. However, there seems to be no doubt about her having a great commitment to the sport.
“She is very interested and it is her life at the moment”.