Role Model- Caroline Nerbas

Role Model- Caroline Nerbas

Caroline Nerbas

Olympic Irish Handball

Caroline Nerbas began her journey in Olympic handball at the age of 8 while she was in school in Brazil. Growing up in Brazil, Olympic handball was a more prominent sport compared to how popular it is in Ireland. She initially started playing due to her friends’ influence, and over time, her passion for the sport persisted, even after her school friends had moved on from it.

Playing handball for her school offered her opportunities to travel across Brazil and eventually led to a scholarship that covered her university and secondary school education. She competed in national and international tournaments, representing her state in Brazil. Her experiences in the sport were a source of pride.

Upon her move to Ireland, finding a suitable handball club proved to be a challenge in the unfamiliar environment, mostly comprised of foreign players. She moved back to Brazil for a period where she continued to play the sport.

Upon her return to Ireland, she contacted her coach and learned about an available position in Olympic Handball, which was a dream opportunity for her to contribute to the sport’s growth. Her work allowed her to explore all levels of the sport by going through the European Handball Manager Course which finished in Cologne, where she encountered top-level competition and met her role models in the sport. She was able to represent Ireland with the organization and support the sport she loves. Her experiences highlight the importance of role models in sports, serving as motivators for excellence.

However, her role in promoting Olympic Handball presented challenges, as Ireland lacked sufficient facilities and awareness of the sport. Her main goal is to ensure that future generations in Ireland consider handball as a viable sport option with global opportunities. Establishing a senior team in Ireland is a significant professional aspiration. Caroline also aims to continue her involvement in the sport as a player, as she enjoys playing, which is what brought her to the role in general.

For Caroline, it’s about creating role models, much like the older players in her school who inspired her. Her parents, though not having played the sport, provided invaluable support in their way. Caroline now shares her progress with her mother through videos, given the geographical distance.

Being active in sports has allowed Caroline to forge meaningful friendships in a new country, a feat that can be challenging. Her continued participation has boosted her confidence to explore new opportunities. Her advice to everyone, regardless of their sporting background, is to engage in activities that bring joy. She also highlights that handball, as a contact sport, may appeal to individuals with skills in GAA and Rugby. She encourages others to give the sport a try and discover if it brings them enjoyment.

It is exciting to have such a strong advocate for sport in how it connects you to the community but also such a strong advocate for sports we may not know are out there. If you are interested in getting involved, reach out to them on social media! Thank you, Caroline, for being a role model!