SOME top handball skills were on show at the National Under-13 Handball Competition in Barking on Saturday, where the new SportHouse facility played host to the regional heats.
More than 300 young people took part in the event, from schools and clubs from across London and the South of England. The top three teams from both the boys and girls competitions will go through to the second round of the competition in May, with the grand finals eventually being held in London in June.
Ark Academy from Wembley won all their games to finish as top girls team, while also going through to the second round are Harris Girls Academy and last year’s finalists Helenswood Girls Academy.
Harris Boys School from Southward won the boys Group 1 event, again with maximum points, and they will be joined in the second round by Woolwich Polytechnic and Ark Academy.
The Boys Group 2 event was won by Erith School, while All Saints Catholic School and Carshalton Boys School also go through.
Carshalton Boys Team Manager Keith Middleton said: 'This has been a fantastic tournament that really showed off the progress that handball has made in the UK in the last couple of years. Lots of high level competition and more importantly hundreds of boys and girls enjoying themselves.”
And Lynn Barker, the Event Co-ordinator at SportHouse, added: “Friday, 16 March, saw the first competition in SportHouse, the under 13 schools completion saw schools from all over London competing in the first round.
“The young people were excited to be playing in this massive centre where the world’s best will be training during the Olympics. For many of the young people it was their first ever competition and both they and their teachers thoroughly enjoyed themselves and it was absolutely brilliant to see.”
* Photos by Mathilde Friggieri