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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!”

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

English Champs in Essex Tournament

REIGNING English Men’s League and Cup champions Great Dane are one of three teams in action at a three-team international club tournament being staged on July 2 in Essex.
The event at Basildon Sporting Village will see Great Dane take on opposition from France and Germany in a tournament to celebrate the Basildon Town Twinning Association (BTTA).

Basildon is twinned with Meaux in France and Heiligenhaus from Germany. This tournament, kindly sponsored by BTTA, follows a successful and close fought tournament last year at Leyton SCORE.

Sports development Manager Wayne Davies said: “This is a great opportunity for the people of Basildon and neighbouring areas to come down and watch the English League and Cup Champions Great Dane take on teams from France and Germany.

“I personally can’t wait to see the showcase game and am looking forward to seeing Basildon’s youngsters take to the court and have a go during the taster sessions.

“Let’s hope with the Olympics on our doorstep and this European style tournament taking place here in Basildon we can kick-start the development of handball in the area and enthuse possible handball stars of the future.”

The three hour tournament starts at 1.15pm. Entry is free for anyone wishing to attend. For details contact John Compton johncompton@talktalk.net

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Youngsters Preparing for National Schools Finals

THE National Schools handball finals take place later this month, where the best teams from across the country will do battle for the national titles.

The event on Saturday June 25 is at the Aldersley Leisure Village in Wolverhampton from 10am, and is the culmination of months of regional heats, trials and training sessions at schools from across the country.

From 72 teams entered, just 17 remain in the finals.

In the Under-13 girls event it is between Siddal Moor Sports College, Parrs Wood High School and Barking Abbey School, while in the Under-13 boys event the competitors are Royton and Crompton High School, Woolwich Poly High School, Harris Boys’ Academy (East Dulwich) and Cardinal Griffin Catholic High School.

The Under-15 girls teams are Helenswood School, Cardinal Griffin Catholic High School,
Birchwood Community High School and Blacon High School. The Under-15 boys event is between Upton-by-Chester, Culceth High School, Cardinal Griffin Catholic High School,
Aylesbury Grammar School, Carshalton Boys Sports College and Biddenham Upper School.

EHA Cup Finals Show Big Skills Improvements

THE EHA Youth Cup finals staged at Crystal Palace earlier this month were some of the best seen for many years, and highlighted the growth of handball in schools up and down the country.

The standard of handball is increasing across the board, but few teams have achieved success more than North East Manchester Hawks.

Their girls team were crowned National Cup winners after beating league champions Warrington Wolves 11-8, while their boys team made it to the final, losing out to Olympia Cannock 24-20.

Hawks' key to success was in defence where their physical effort knocked the Wolves’ shooters out of their stride. At the other end Nicola Quick netted two early goals, but it was the power
of captain Ellie Whitehead and line player Ruth Anderson that proved decisive.

Warrington's hopes took a big blow when England under-19s player Sophie Unsworth had to be carried off with an ankle injury.

And as the game entered its final stages the Hawks kept up a tempo that the Wolves couldn't contend with.

The boys final was also a physical affair, and a series of two-minute sin-bins that twice saw Hawks reduced to four outfield players gave Cannock a 13-11 lead.

Hawks had goalkeeper Terry Ellis to thank for saving a penalty on the whistle to limit the arrears, but they rallied after the break and twice levelled.

However, they could never get their noses in front and a series of missed one-on-one chances proved their downfall.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Cup Finals Mark End to Great English Season

REIGNING champions Great Dane successfully secured the League and Cup double at Crystal Palace National Sports Centre on Saturday – but they had to do it the hard way, battling past a determined Ruislip Eagles side to take the EHA Cup prize.

Seven goals from Kris Olschgloeger (pictured) and six from Philips Altong helped Great Dane secure victory in the Cup to add to their league title.

The overall top scorer in the match was Ruislip’s Alex Rabinin with ten goals, but it was not enough to deny their London rivals victory.

But it was not all disappointment for Ruislip Eagles.

Earlier in the day their women’s team – who secured the league title last week – ensured they have gone through the whole season unbeaten when they beat Olympia 32-22 in the women’s EHA Cup final.

Seven goals each from Zsuzi Telek and Dani Sposi – who went on to play for Great Britain in their Finland clash later in the day – underpinned that victory.

And in the Under-18 Boys EHA Cup final, Olympia Cannock won 24-20 against North East Manchester Hawks, with Przemick Bednarczyk scoring eight and Ryan Goodwin six. For the Hawks, Sam Bedlow netted seven times, but it was not enough for victory.

The day’s opening match was the Under-18 Girls EHA Cup final, and North East Manchester Hawks won 11-8 against Warrington Wolves, with Ellis Whitehead scoring four.

Beth Wilbraham scored five for the Wolves, but with just three other goals coming from her team-mates it was not enough for the win.