GREAT Britain winger John Pearce helped pupils at All Saints Catholic School in Barking get to grips with the finer points of handball last week when he attended a session at the Essex school.
Pearce, 24 and from Dorset, helped Year 7 and 10 pupils with training, and even managed a team in a schools competition – which they duly won!
He then visited Newham Flames Handball Club in London, and again helped out with training and showed them some of the drills and moves that international handball stars go through.
Pupils from All Saints started playing handball last year, and have set up a club which meets on Friday afternoons. Since then they have competed in the London Junior League with their Under-16s team as well as the Inter-Borough Girls competition and national competitions.
London Handball Development Officer Ari Bekker said: “John was amazing! He decided to coach them and in seconds he had them doing some new exercises and playing handball – he looked like he had always been doing it!
“The kids loved him! John blew everyone away with his positive, professional and very confident personality towards the kids. They looked up to him and I am sure this will be an experience they will remember when they play in future competitions. They are all hoping to meet him again in April when John will be back on court with GB men.”
After training, John gave out medals to the top three teams and then signed some photos of the GB Men for the youngsters, as well as some of his GB playing kit.
All Saints PE teacher Dermot O'Brien said: “Handball is a new sport we are promoting at All Saints school. We have had a very positive reaction and we have a large amount of pupils attending. The kids were extremely excited when they met an international handball star!”