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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Schools Finals Cap Great Month for England Handball

A HUGELY successful National Schools Handball finals has brought the curtain down on a fantastic month of June for handball in England.

The schools event in Wolverhampton last weekend saw Harris School from South London crowned Under-13 boys champion, while the girls winners were Parrs Wood School from Manchester.

And in the Under-15 boys event, Upton by Chester School in Chester were victorious, as were Birchwood High School from Warrington in the Under-15 girls final.

A total of 72 schools entered the 2011 competition, and after several regional rounds the finals day at Aldersley Leisure Village saw 24 matches involving around 72 pupils proved a fitting finale.

“There was a massive improvement in standards on previous years,” said EHA Chairman Mike Briers. “Congratulations to all concerned! This was another fabulous day for youth handball in England.”

The month of June proved very successful for England Handball on a number of levels.

“The EHA received a very pleasing 24 month report from Sport England, whose Satisfaction Survey shows handball leaping up from 66.1 per cent in 2010 to 77.8 per cent this year,” explained Briers.

“The nine full-time and seven part-time staff are at full stretch and the Development Programme is showing many splendid results.”

As well as the EHA Cup finals day at Crystal Palace being such a hit, EHA were also present at the landmark handover on June 9 of the Olympic Handball Arena, which looks set to play a big part in the drive to make handball more popular on the back of the games.

The Annual Coaching Conference took place at Crystal Palace on June 11, with the GB Ladies Coaches Jesper Holmris and Vigdis Holmeset running an excellent programme.

There were demonstrations and presentations by the GB Ladies Squad members, and more than 50 coaches from EHA Clubs from all parts of the country attended.

Later that week, there was a meeting of several NGBs with the Youth Sport Trust in Loughborough, where several new partnerships for the future were discussed.

And on June 18 England Handball held its AGM at Loughborough University, where much progress was made towards the new Super League for 2012. All officers who were up for re-election were duly agreed.

June has also seen a series of interviews taking place for the position of England Under-23 Coach, in readiness for the EHF Under-23 Challenge Trophy to be held in Limerick in November.

And this month, the EHA has also launched a new teaching resource for primary schools, which has been extremely well received so far. This is to be followed shortly by a new teaching resource for secondary schools.

And the England Under-16 boys and girls squads have just departed for Sweden, where they will receive intensive training before competing in the Partille Cup in Gothenburg.

Meanwhile, the Under-18 Boys and Girls Talent Squads are in Italy for the Terramo Tournament and the Under-19 Boys squad have competed in a tournament in France, before heading to Gothenburg for the European Under-19 Tournament.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank all members of the EHA who have worked so hard to make these achievements possible,” added Briers. “Let us move on towards London 2012 and ensure that Handball is The Legacy Sport of the Olympics!”

1 comment:

  1. As a Parent with a Son in the winning U15 School boys Team from Upton High and a member of the U16 England squad currently in Sweden, may I pass on my sincere thanks and congratulations to all those involved with Handball in the UK. Having followed the sports development over the last two years I, along with all the Parents I talk with, are in admiration of the hard work, dedication, enthusiasm and commitment to success at every level in the Sport. Its a privilege to be associated with a sport being led and managed by such devoted supporters. Keep up the great work, success is inevitable and so very well deserved. Ian Thomas