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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Sign up NOW for EK82 Tournament!

HANDBALL fans in Scotland need to put September 3-4 in their diaries, as that is when East Kilbride 82 Handball Club are staging their tournament.

With categories for senior men, senior women, under-14 boys and girls as well as under-12 mixed, the weekend event is sure to be a big hit, with a party for all teams and coaches on the Saturday evening.

The venue is the Alistair McCoist Sports Complex in East Kilbride, and the entry fee of £35 is due by August 9.

Cheques are the preferred method of payment and should be made payable to “East Kilbride 82 Senior Handball Club” and sent to Andy Wallace, East Kilbride 82 Handball Club, 8 Thistle Place, East Kilbride, G74 4RH.

For further information please contact Andy Wallace at andy@ek82handball.co.uk or on 07816 419671.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

English Teams Return from a Great Partille Cup

ENGLISH teams returned from the annual Partille Cup in Sweden with their heads held high last week, after continuing their handball education with some strong performances.

Both the Under-16 boys and girls teams were invited to attend as part of the Olympic Solidarity Programme, where developing handball nations can receive expert coaching and tips and play games against other developing nations before putting it all into practice in the main Partille Cup.

The first day of the Partille Cup saw England U16 girls (pictured) face Norwegian team Onnereds in their opening match. But after arriving late for the game without time for a warm up the girls suffered a heavy defeat 18-5.

The second match of the day saw a turnaround in the defensive performance, ending again in defeat but this time much narrower 10-6 to Kragero.

The following day saw a switch in tactics with England changing to a 4-2 attack, this resulting in England getting their first win, beating Hauketo IF 13-10.

24 hours later the girls faced Danish club team Saeby in what must have been one of the most exciting games of the whole Partille tournament.

England defended well but were always chasing down a bad start which resulted in their opponents being three goals ahead. But with three minutes left coach Hankinson reverted back to a 4–2 attack, causing panic in the Danes defence.

Three goals on the bounce by Rhea Chowdry – the last with 5 seconds on the clock - resulted in a 13-12 victory for an ecstatic England team.

But sadly a couple of hours later they hit the ground with a bang when they faced an experienced and strong Russian team Nevskaya Volna who punished them for weak shooting on the fast break the game ending 19-6.

The girls narrowly missed out on the A-Finals, finishing fourth and progressing to the Plate competition.

In the plate playoff game, played in pouring down rain, both teams struggled to aclimatise to the conditions with an extremely low scoring affair showing 1-1 at half time, before narrowly being edged to defeat and being knocked out 5-4.

The England Under-16 boys team was also successful, winning half of their group matches before narrowly losing in the play-off.

They were beaten 11-17 by FH in their first match, but the following day they bounced back in style with an 11-6 win over Halmsted and a 15-8 win over HSG Hannover-West.

They were narrowly beaten 16-21 by TJ Dukla Praha on Thursday, and then lost out 13-15 to Onnereds, before finishing their group games with a 17-13 win over Ted College SC.

They faced IFK Hammaro in the play-off, but lost out 18-14.

All in all it was a successful week and the players applied themselves well and learned lessons that will be invaluable in their handball education.

The Olympic Solidarity Programme, run the week before the Partille Cup proper, proved invaluable to the players.

“Both teams worked really hard and we saw some great improvements in technique and application from all athletes,” said coach Rena Fairbrother.

“Ulf, the coach shows how basic drills are layers of the game that when put together create the techniques required to increase playing skills.

“The week also gives the teams an opportunity to meet players from around the world and this year this included, the USA, China, Singapore and closer to home Scotland.”

* The Partille Cup was also attended by Scottish Under-15 boys and girls teams.

The girls won two of their group games – beating HK Malmo 20-5 and Skogas 13-11 - while the boys battled hard but were unable to record a win.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Partille Action for England Boys and Girls

BOTH boys and girls teams from England and Scotland are in Sweden this week, taking part in the Partille Cup as part of the Olympic Solidarity Programme.

Funded by the organisers of the tournament, the teams are receiving top-class coaching from the event’s Chief Instructor Ulf Andersson, and after playing several friendly matches against other nations on the Olympic Development Programme, they are taking part in the Partille Cup proper this week.

The Olympic Development Programme is a co-operation between the Tournament organisers and the International Handball Federation and the International Olympic Committee.

The idea of the scheme is to invite developing countries in handball for over two weeks to provide training and inspiration to the development of handball in their own countries.

This year six countries with twelve teams and 220 players and leaders are taking part from England, Scotland, China, India, Singapore, and America.

In the friendly fixtures played already last week, England Boys narrowly lost out to Savehof Youth Team, 30-34 and 19-29, while the England Girls (pictured) drew once and lost once against China, 12-12 and 11-15.

Scotland Boys also narrowly lost, 28-31 to Singapore and 29-34 to China. And their girls team beat America twice, 18-10 and 23-12.

More reports from the Partille Cup will follow next week.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Greenwich and Bexley Win London Youth Games Handball

GREENWICH boys and Bexley girls were crowned the winners of the popular handball tournament at the Balfour Beatty London Youth Games staged at Crystal Palace recently.

Competing in handball at the London Youth Games for the first time, Greenwich beat 2010 winners Sutton 6-2 in the boys’ final.

Meanwhile Bexley, who were also playing in their first handball competition at the Games, claimed the girls’ title with a 2-0 victory over Barking and Dagenham.

After topping Group 2 in the boys’ event with four wins out of four, Greenwich skipped past Redbridge 4-3 in the semis before claiming the gold.

Paul Walsh, Greenwich boys’ team manager, said: “I feel ecstatic; it’s an absolutely brilliant feeling. The lads came here and they’ve barely played a handball match before but they just got better and better.

“I have to credit the organisers, really well run and it’s been a great day for our boys. You can see that everyone is very sporting after the games; everyone is shaking hands with the other teams, officials and all that’s great for the sport, and it’s great for our lads.”

Bexley topped the girls’ group with three wins from three before defeating Barking and Dagenham, who they beat 5-0 in the group stages, in the final. They ended the tournament without conceding a single goal.

Louise Presney, Bexley girls’ team manager, said: “After the first couple of games we did see ourselves going through to the final, but this is our first tournament.

“We have not played here before and we weren’t quite sure what it was going to be like until we got here, so it has surpassed our expectations.

“What we have brought here are a load of footballers and netball players and that combination has worked. But it’s a surprise for the girls to win because it was the first competition for them and some were not sure about playing.”

In the third-fourth place playoffs, Tower Hamlets girls won 2-1 against Camden while Haringey boys’ edged past Redbridge 4-3 to take bronze.

Enter NOW for Nottingham Pre-Season Tournament

ENTRIES are being taken for the annual pre-season Nottingham Tournament in September, which always proves a popular way to bridge the gap between pre-season training and competitive handball.

This year’s event is taking place on Sunday, September 11 from 10am-6pm, and organiser Colin Wills is taking expressions of interest at Colin.Wills@nottingham.ac.uk.

Six male teams can take part with each team getting around five matches, each lasting 25 minutes, run on a league system.

Entries will be taken on a first come first served basis for the event, which will take place in the Main Hall of Nottingham University Park on a 36x20 sixed court.