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For all the latest news from British Handball plus news feeds from Handball Sites and Blogs around the world.

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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

British Handball team up with CSC

BRITISH Handball has teamed up with Capital Shopping Centres (CSC) to spread some handball love throughout the country this spring!

CSC has signed up as British Handball’s official location partner for a national tour of British Handball’s mobile shooting arena, which gives members of the public the chance to try their hand at throwing a handball into a goal – and win some top prizes!

The tour will take in seven CSC shopping centres across the country, and each will see Great Britain athletes in attendance to tell the public what a great sport handball is.

The tour will be taking place across seven CSC centres, including:

Victoria Centre, Nottingham – Saturday 28th April

Broadmarsh, Nottingham – Sunday 29th April

The Trafford Centre, Manchester – Friday 4th May

Eldon Square, Newcastle – Saturday 12th May

Metrocentre, Gateshead – Sunday 13th May

Lakeside, Thurrock – Saturday 26th May

The Glades, Bromley – Sunday 27th May

The UK tour will also incorporate visits to local schools in Nottingham, Manchester, Newcastle, Glasgow and Essex to encourage the next generation of youngsters to take up this fast growing sport.

Paul Goodwin, British Handball’s Chief Executive, said: "We’re really looking forward to showing the public what handball is all about. It’s a great sport to play and watch, and it’s massive overseas. Our aim is to use the 2012 Olympics to make it more popular in Britain."

And Richard Bailey, Central Marketing Manager at CSC said, "Being chosen to be the British Handball Association’s official location partner for its tour of the UK highlights the popularity of our shopping centres and the ideal geographic spread of these locations across the country.

"2012 is such an amazing year for British sport and it will be fantastic to give the local communities surrounding our centres the opportunity to get involved with such a fast growing sport.

"It is also great to be able to support the British Handball Association and the British Handball team during this key sporting year, so we hope to see lots of out shoppers giving it a go when the tour visits CSC centres across the country over the next month."

British Handball link-up with Rehband

BRITISH Handball’s preparations for this summer’s Olympic Games has been given a boost after they teamed up with leading sports support supplier Rehband to help power their performance.

Under the agreement, all British Handball athletes will be provided with Rehband products, which are designed and developed by the company’s in-house expert design team which has extensive experience in the physiotherapy and textile industries.

Hugely popular in Scandinavia, Rehband are rapidly expanding in other markets across the world and their products are available in more than 25 countries.

They have a strong portfolio of braces, supports, protection products and functional clothing. The latest addition to the range is a line of Compression Wear, including products with built in protective pads for intensive contact sports.

Paul Goodwin, British Handball Chief Executive, said: “We’re delighted to be working alongside Rehband as we enter the final stages of preparation for the London Olympics. In any sport the difference between winning and losing can be tiny, so anything we can do that may give us that crucial competitive edge could make all the difference.”

And Anthony Egan, Sales Director of Rehband UK, added: “'Handball is one of the fastest-growing sports in the UK and will gain great exposure during the London 2012 Olympics. Rehband UK are delighted to be the official supplier to the British Handball Association.”

Fans of British Handball can see for themselves the quality of Rehband products, thanks to a special 30 per cent discount being offered for British Handball members.

To benefit from this special offer, please go to www.rehbandsport.co.uk and when checking out of their online shop please use the code BHA30.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Handball on track to deliver Olympic legacy

THE future of elite handball in Britain took a major step forward this week, after British Handball, England Handball and Scottish Handball agreed a clear pathway for the development of international players.

Handball is the fastest growing sport in the country at the moment, with tens of thousands of children and young people across the country being introduced to the sport as part of plans to fully harness the potential legacy from the London Olympics.

But under this new partnership, those young people will now have a clear pathway to follow as they aim to represent their country at European, World and Olympic level.

The news helps cement handball’s place in Britain’s sporting landscape after 2012, with real long-term plans being made for the future.

At international level Great Britain teams will play in official European, World and Olympic competitions, while Scotland and England teams will be selected from the Academies and continue to participate in UK and European training camps and tournaments.

Discussions are ongoing between England Handball, Scottish Handball and the Irish Olympic Handball Association to establish a Home International series from youth level up to seniors.

Lorraine Brown, British Handball’s Performance Director, said: “It’s fantastic to be working in collaboration with the Home Nations. The work they’ve done over the last two years building a foundation for the game will put us in good stead for the future.

“To have clarity about what our role will be in the future can only benefit the sport, and this will ensure there is a sustainable system in the future for Rio 2016 and into 2020.”

And Mike Briers, chairman of England Handball, added: “There is a tremendous influx of new players who are being attracted to the sport of handball. The Player Pathway will offer all of them a real opportunity to progress from junior club players, through the age groups, to GB representation in European, World and Olympic Competitions.”

And Stephen Neilson from Scottish Handball added: “Scottish players have played a big part in the existing GB teams, and we aim to maximise our involvement in the future. Our system of regular primary and secondary school championships will continue with youth club championships expanding to five age categories next season.”

And Mick Hegarty, England Handball’s Director of Performance, stated: “These exciting decisions are a positive reflection of how keen both BHA and EHA are to work together to produce podium quality teams in the not too distant future.”

England Handball’s existing four-year Player Pathway Programme for 9-13-year-olds, which has been growing and developing the talent pool of elite youth players, will be re-branded as the England Talent Pathway (ETP), which will incorporate a network of Regional and National Academies for players from 12-18-years-old.

Scottish Handball will continue with the building of national age group teams which will now integrate into the Great Britain Performance Programme and define a new four year player pathway strategy starting in 2013 which will be aligned with the Rio Olympic cycle.

Photo: Michele Davison.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

GB Under-20 women in World Champs action

GREAT Britain’s newly-formed Under-20 women’s team played their first international matches at the World Championships in Poland last week.

A young squad went out to play three matches in the European qualification phase of the event, and although they lost all three they learned some valuable lessons.

Playing Germany, Poland and Italy – who have a centralised program – over three days was a tough call with GB starting well in each of their games, but eventually the power and experience of the other teams came to the fore.

Coach Donna Hankinson said afterwards: “We knew that we would be facing an almost impossible task, but for us this is the beginning of an ongoing process for this age group, we wanted to expose the players to this level of competition to open their eyes to the work that needs to be done.

“We set realistic goals and emphasised to the players that the goals were the opposition and not the actual teams that we playing against, and in every game we came within a whisker of meeting our objectives. We came to the tournament with our eyes open and we leave educated and motivated to the task ahead.”

Danielle Nillsson finished top scorer for GB with a creditable 16 goals over the three matches, while there were outstanding efforts in defence from Heidi Le Blanc and Ellie Whitehead.

Lorraine Brown, British Handball’s Performance Director, added: “There were some very strong handball nations there, but we scored plenty of goals against them which was fantastic. It was a very difficult tournament for a young squad. The aim for the players and coaches was to learn game by game.

“The aim was to understand the level the players are aiming for in the next cycle at Under-20 level and to improve on technical faults and game understanding, and they achieved all those internal goals.

“The coaches gained valuable international experience in their first time coaching at that level, and it was a great opportunity for Charlotte Le Blanc to captain the side and was a good chance for her to develop her leadership skills in a way that she doesn’t get with the senior side.”

Men's Olympic line-up revealed

THE line-up for the men’s Olympic handball competition has been completed after the final qualification tournaments took place last week.

Great Britain know who the 11 other teams competing in London will be, although the draw for the group stages won’t happen until May 30 at Crystal Palace National Sports Centre.

The 12 teams who will compete at London are: Great Britain, France, Spain, Sweden, Croatia, Serbia, Hungary, Iceland, Denmark, Argentina, Korea and Tunisia.

Dragan Djukic, GB Men’s Head Coach (pictured), said: “This looks like being the best handball event ever!

“Our target is still to play competitive games, and to be as close as possible to non-European teams. Also to use every single game to promote the fantastic game of handball.

“Our last game against Korea give us hope to believe that, with spectators behind us, maybe we can make some miracle and take a win. One dream is close to become reality!”

The line-up for the women’s handball event won’t be known until the qualifying tournaments are completed next month.

Photo: Michael Barnett

Saturday, April 07, 2012

GB Men give Korea a scare at Pinsent Masons' London Handball Cup

GREAT Britain men saved their best performance until last in the Pinsent Masons’ London Handball Cup at Crystal Palace National Sports Centre on Saturday, narrowly losing out to Korea 25-29.

After two defeats to world-class Tunisia and Argentina in the first couple of days, GB men turned on the style against the Koreans – none more so than Steven Larsson who used his height and skill in equal measure to score 14 goals for GB.

GB got better as the tournament went on despite playing against three of the best teams in the world who have qualified by right for the London Olympics this summer.

The plan for the Pinsent Masons’ London Handball Cup was to give Great Britain experience of playing against the top nations so they can better prepare for this summer’s Olympics. On that score it is very much ‘job done’ with lessons learned, and Great Britain will take heart from their performance against a very strong Korean side.

Great Britain’s Steven Larsson finished the tournament as top-scorer with 19 goals, while Korea’s Yi-Kyeong Jeong scored a total of 15.

Tunisia won the event overall with two wins and a draw, while Korea finished second.

Great Britain men will now begin preparations for the qualification tournament for the 2014 European Championship in Italy from June 8-10, where they will face Switzerland and Greece as well as the host nation.

Pinsent Masons’ London Handball Cup
April 5: Tunisia 30 Korea 25, Great Britain 15 Argentina 32.
April 6: Korea 31 Argentina 25, Great Britain 15 Tunisia 41.
April 7: Argentina 23 Tunisia 23, Great Britain 25 Korea 29.

Photo: Michael Barnett

Friday, April 06, 2012

Djukic praises Argentina after GB lose opening clash

GREAT Britain Men’s Head Coach Dragan Djukic heaped praise on Argentina’s handball team after seeing his side beaten 15-32 in their opening match of the Pinsent Masons’ London Handball Cup at Crystal Palace National Sports Centre on Thursday.

Djukic’s team defended well at times in the face of some world class attacking play by an Argentinian team tipped by some for a medal at this summer’s Olympic Games.

And in attack Great Britain’s Steven Larsson found the net four times, while Ciaran Williams added three. Ben Murray scored two on his international debut, and Chris Mohr also scored twice.

Argentina had 11 players on the scoresheet, with Juan Manuel Vazquez their top-scorer with six.

“This is the first time we’ve played against non-European teams who have already qualified for the Olympics, and they play amazing handball,” said Djukic afterwards. “I’m very happy that we have a chance to play against them now, because we must play them at the Olympics.

“Because we’ve had the experience to play them now, we will be better at the Olympics.

“We started both halves too cautiously, and we gave them too much respect. We went 0-7 down before we scored, and in the second half we scored once in 15 minutes.

In Thursday’s other match Tunisia won 30-25 after a close battle with South Korea.

Friday’s programme sees Korea take on Argentina at 1630, while Great Britain face Tunisia at 1900.

And on Saturday, Tunisia v Argentina starts at 1230, while Great Britain v Korea is at 1500.

Matches will be streamed live at www.britishhandball.com

* Photo: Michael Barnett.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

World Champs test for GB Women U20s

THE new Great Britain under-20 women’s team head to Poland this week to compete in the World Under-20 Championships qualifying tournament.

Only recent formed after exhaustive trials, the Under-20 squad will take on hosts Poland, Germany and Italy in Pruszkow, with three matches in three days from April 5-7.

It is the first time a GB team has competed in this tournament, and it will prove to be a baptism of fire for the youngsters.

The GB team is largely made up of young players who look set to form the next youth and junior two-year programmes.

Germany are top seeds in the group, although Poland will aim to make the most of home advantage. And Italy have had a special talent programme in place for the past two years which has produced much of their team.

Great Britain will be aiming to learn from the tournament and be as competitive as possible before coming home to build on their experience.

The matches are due to be streamed live on the internet via this link - http://imprezylive.pl/online_pruszkow.php