"Once you've played in Partille Cup, you always want to come back"
Currently, HSG Nordwest and their partner club HSG Nordwest Juniorinnen from Switzerland have ten teams registered for Partille Cup 2024, but their plan is to sign up at least four more teams.
The coach Peter Bürki has been involved in Partille Cup since his first visit as a player back in 1986.
– It's the whole package that makes Partille Cup so special. There are so many highlights, he says.
HSG Nordwest is a relatively young club from the Basel region that emerged from the junior movement of TV Birsfelden, which is Peter's home club.
– Together with other clubs from the region, HSG develops and challenges young talents under the best conditions to introduce them to top-class sport. The best-known players to have received their handball training at HSG are the current Bundesliga players Lukas Meister, Maximilian Gerbl, Timothy Reichmuth and Leo Grazioli. Since 1986, TV Birsfelden has repeatedly visited Partille Cup and HSG has taken over this tradition, says Peter Bürki.
They will participate with more teams than ever before this summer.
– Yes, that is true. The boys from HSG Nordwest are coming with nine teams and then we will come with another five or six girls teams from HSG Nordwest Juniorinnen, our partner club. We will be travelling with 90 players this summer. There will also be around 70 girls from the HSG Juniorinnen. The many positive experiences around Partille Cup are getting around, so every player wants to come along. And once you've played in Partille Cup, you always want to come back. Many boys who have been here once as players come back later as coaches.
Peter and his friend and colleague Tom first came to Partille Cup as players in 1986.
– Back then we were infected by the Partille Cup virus, so we've come to Gothenburg a couples of times as players and then many times as coaches. For me, it's the whole package that makes Partille Cup so special. There are so many highlights. It starts with the journey on the ICE train from Basel via Kiel and the ferry from Kiel to Gothenburg. The older boys look after the younger ones so that nobody gets lost. The eyes of the young players when they arrive at Heden for training for the first time on Monday afternoon and of course the matches against teams from all over the world are highlights for every player. And the atmosphere at Heden on the final days. And when you get to play in front of so many spectators on Saturday, it's the absolute highlight...
He thinks it is valuable that their players can compete with players of the same age and realize how far they have come in other countries.
– That is very motivating. The trip is very valuable for team building. They benefit from this in the following season. Every player develops their personality on this trip. Many of the young players are away from home without their parents for the first time. They have to take responsibility for themselves and their belongings, the coach says.
They want every player and every team to have a week full of great experiences on and off the pitch.
– As always, we want to get as many teams as possible into the A-playoffs. And then, let's see where it goes! For me as the organizer of the trip, it is of course important to bring all the boys back home safe, healthy and with lots of great impressions in their luggage, says Peter Bürki.