These German sisters blow the whistle at the Handball World Cup

Maik Merz and Tanja Kuttler are referees at the Handball World Championships. She additionally matched her being pregnant to profession.

Mike Merz nonetheless remembers it properly. When her sister Tanja and he or she entered a handball corridor, it did not take lengthy for the males to say one thing. “For volleyball,” he teased, “you must go to the neighboring corridor.” Two ladies refereeing a extremely rated males’s sport? unimaginable a number of years again. Until Mike Merz and Tanja Kutler got here alongside.

Since final Wednesday, each have been officiating at the males’s World Cup in Poland and Sweden. Not as first woman, as have been the two French ladies in 2017, however as the first German. “The event is the spotlight of our profession,” enthused Tanja Kuttler in an interview with mannheim morning, extra prestigious than the ladies’s last of Champions LeagueWhich he whistled final 12 months, and the reward for a mix of ambition and self-organisation that you do not see daily in the top-class recreation.

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The sisters from Tettnang in Baden-Württemberg, who work full-time for automotive provider ZF Friedrichshafen and are at present on parental go away, have fully juggled their household planning with their careers. “Let’s assume,” says 31-year-old Tanja Kuttler, “that we bought pregnant one after the different – in that case we’d have been out of ref for greater than two years.” As it was, their second daughter Madita and Tanja’s son Korbinian have been born solely three months aside, as ordered. Since the duo employed a private coach to get match once more shortly, it took them just a few weeks to get again on the report, as the handball gamers wish to say – hailed by their father, mother-in-law and in-laws Made attainable, who take care of infants whereas moms elevate their pipes.

Handball World Cup: Son’s birthday postponed for per week

The worth they pay for this isn’t too excessive for them, as the two push on collectively. Maik, 34, celebrated her thirtieth birthday on the pitch in Leipzig and attended the Women’s Cup last when it was her daughter Leonie’s first birthday. And now, in the month of the World Cup, sister Tanja’s little Corbinian is popping one. “But he cannot learn the calendar but,” she smiles, “so we are able to simply have a good time per week later.”

They have debuted in the males’s Bundesliga since 2019 – and the discuss volleyball in the neighboring corridor has lengthy since subsided. If it have been as much as the officers of the German Handball Federation, which has been selling ladies completely for a decade, the Swabian referee sisters would have ended up in the first or second ladies’s league in Germany. But in the finish, like sport, it is the efficiency at the whistle that counts – and at some level it was as much as the males’s Bundesliga. Nevertheless, each, who handed their refereeing exams at the age of 16 and initially additionally performed for SG Argtental themselves, needed to wrestle in a world that was nonetheless international and suspicious to them. “We needed to be higher than the males,” says Tanja Kuttler. “Many officers simply could not consider we may do that.”

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