London Teams Win Through To 2014 British University Championship Finals
London teams won through to the Championship Finals of the Association of British University Handball Clubs (ABUHC) competition which will take place over the weekend of March 8 and March 9 at SportHouse in Barking, London.
Twenty university teams produced scintillating, exciting, skillful Handball performances in both the women’s and men’s competitions played over two days in an excellent Southern regional tournament. Universities entered fewer second teams in order to ensure a full bench was available for selection for the all important knock out phase of the competition and this undoubtedly added to the quality and atmosphere for the final matches.
Imperial College won the Southern region contest and will be joined in the finals of the men’s competition by University College London. In the women’s competition Middlesex University won all their matches and will be joined by Brunel University and the University of East London.
The groups for the National Championship Finals can be found here.
Congratulations to all the teams that took part and to the ABUHC organising committee.
The ABUHC Championships
By scorpostoriesABUHC Coventry Handball Club Newham Flames volunteers
If I could give my teenage self two words of advice, it would be “Get Involved.” Why? When I was a teenager, I was under the mistaken belief that if you simply worked hard, people would recognise your talents and things would come your way. Whilst working hard is clearly important, without that drive to “Get Involved” and make things happen for yourself, you’ll only get so far.
This past weekend was a prime example of what can come from getting involved. It was the weekend of the national universities Handball tournament, which was held at SportHouse in London. I am not currently a student, nor am I likely to be again in the future, so I didn’t really need to be there. Yet I ended up spending pretty much the entire weekend there. My main reason for going was to catch up with some of my friends from Coventry Handball Club who were coming down with the Coventry University team, and it was great to see them again. I could have just come along as a spectator I suppose, but I wanted to be an active part of the championship, and the amount that I gained from the weekend was staggering. Here are just a few things I took away with me.
Pleasure from repaying the generosity of others
When I decided to try to found a club in Coventry, I had lots of ideas but fairly limited knowledge of the sport and particularly how it was organised in this country. Throughout my time with the club, Anselm Plummer from Warwick University had been a great help in this area in particular, and it’s certain that without his help Coventry HC wouldn’t have grown as fast as they have to date. Anselm was one of the organisers of the ABUHC championships, and so it was good to get the opportunity to repay the favour.
Becoming known to the referees
Every referee in every sport will deny this, but when it comes to 50:50 decisions, as a player it pays to be known for the right reasons by the referees. Socialising with them, helping them with the officiating by being a table official and simply knowing them by name are all things that might help me and my team in the future.
Establishing contacts at other clubs
A few sports clubs, particularly towards the top levels of professional sports, are under the mistaken impression that they don’t need other clubs, that looking after their own affairs is all they should concentrate on. But it doesn’t matter whether you are Real Madrid or Newham Flames, every club in every sport relies on other clubs in order to have competitive matches and a viable league/knockout tournament. Therefore it is always good to build some alliances with other clubs, and so being at a tournament where dozens of clubs were represented was a valuable way to spend a weekend.
Learning the game
I am still a relative novice in the sport, and so despite now being 26, the scope for improvement in my game is huge. Watching so many matches over the weekend was a great experience for my development as a player, as I gained even more appreciation of the difference between good and bad in terms of movement, technique, tactics and a few other areas that if I can learn from and put into practice should help me contribute positively to the team more regularly.
I would have quite happily paid for the food, but as a man who never needs a second invitation to some free food, the fact that I was rewarded for volunteering with two meals per day was a particular plus.
Downsides to the weekend? Well, I didn’t get to watch any of the Six Nations, which was a bit of a shame. And I didn’t really sleep on Saturday night, but overall it was a great experience, and easily my best weekend in London to date. And for anyone who says Handball is a minority sport that people in Britain don’t care about, come down to next year’s tournament and see if you still feel the same way.
Handball Blues celebrate national success
By Javi Martinez
The Oxford University Handball Club left early on Saturday morning to play in the British University Championships, organised for a second year in a row by the ABUHC (Association of British Universities Handball Clubs), although the Championships themselves have been going on for over ten years now. Perhaps because of the better organisation or the impact caused by the Olympic Games, this year’s Championships included over 50 teams and 600 people, a great improvement. This is especially true for the northern teams, which include now a considerable amount of British players (something unthinkable only five years ago).
The championships took place at the Sports House in Barking, which had been one of the training centres during the Olympics. On Saturday, the group phase was played, with 15 minute games simultaneously played in the four available courts non-stop, so all the teams played their four matches that day. The Oxford men’s team came second in their group, with an overall result of 37-14, after beating Coventry, Bangor and Sheffield, losing only in their last game against Imperial College HC. The women drew their first game against UCL, but finished with an overall score of 46-19 after winning against Warwick, Cranfield, AECC, and Dundee. Both teams were thus in very good positions for the final phase of the tournament which was played on Sunday at the same venue.
During the second group phase, played in the morning, the women recorded a victory, a tie and a defeat, so sadly they could not make it beyond the quarter-finals, which is a great result, not only because the results was very close, and the level of the competition very high, but also because the team was basically started from scratch this year.
The men’s team passed through the second group phase easily, after defeating Lincoln and Warwick, but only after a very tight game against Manchester Uni. Then came the quarter finals against Dundee (winning 13-5), the semi finals against good old rivals Imperial College (winning 17-11), thus qualifying for the final. The final turned out to be a very tough game, in which not only the physical fatigue, but also the psychological pressure, after two whole days of intensive handball, came to the fore. To make things more interesting, the final was against Essex, who were playing basically on their home turf, and thus had an important number of supporters on the side.
Oxford offered a tough fight, and managed to secure always at least a two-goal difference, which gave only the slightest feeling of security, especially in a game as quick as handball. However, the Oxford team managed to keep focus all throughout the game, so when the referees signaled the end of the game it was a great relief. It was also a great surprise, because the coach actually convinced us that the game was 5 minutes longer than expected, which helped the team to keep focus until the very end. With a final result of 12-9, Oxford won its sixth title in this competition, celebrating it back in Oxford that very same evening.
PHOTO/ JAVI MARTINEZ
Roehampton 12th at National Handball Championships
For the first time the University of Roehampton attended the University Handball Championships. With almost 700 players, 40 men’s and 24 women’s teams Roehampton Women’s Handball was ready to have some fun and play some great matches.
The University Championships were held in Sporthouse, Barking on the weekend of the 2nd/3rd February. With a lot of excitement the nine girls from Roehampton Handball Club met up in the Sporthouse ready to play their first game as a team.
The first game was played against Bedford. This game ended 7-0 in favor to Roehampton. With six teams in every group four more matches was played on Saturday. The Second game Roehampton lost 6-2, a game which was played against Middlesex. Then Roehampton won two games in a row, first against Imperial 10-1 and then against Loughborough 5-2. Against Loughborough Roehampton had one player hurt and a second player became sick. In the last game Roehampton lost against Bath 5-8. In this game Roehampton played with only seven players.
After five matches on Saturday Roehampton were on a split second place in the group. Bath got to the best group because they beat Roehampton by winning their last game.
A social night out was arranged in Barking with all the teams on the Saturday night.
Sunday matches did not go too well and Roehampton came 12th place out of 24. Overall the whole experience was a great first tournament and all the girls found playing handball again thoroughly enjoyable.
By Anette Wiraas Karlsen – Handball Captain 2013
Story posted: Tuesday, 12 February 2013
THANK YOU 2012 WELCOME 2013 “BETTER NEVER STOPS”
Twelve months ago the Handball community was eagerly awaiting the start of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic year and enjoying the memories of GB Women beating Angola in their first international match at the Copper Box in front of an invited audience to the London Cup.
One month later Angola finished 8th in the International Handball Federation’s (IHF) World Championships to prove the GB performance was one of quality against world class opposition and that with the right preparation GB Handball teams can be successful on the world stage.
Twelve months later eagerness and excitement has reached new levels as the achievements of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, schools, clubs and GB Handball teams confirm that Handball has made its mark in the UK and is here to stay.