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Brentwood Handball Club eager to start women's team

By Brentwood Gazette  |  Posted: May 10, 2013

  • GROWING IN POPULARITY: Action from Brentwood's game with Chelmsford.

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IT WAS one of the sports less heralded before 2012 that captured the imagination of many British fans.

And now handball is enjoying an increase in participation after the Olympics.

One club in Brentwood certainly saw a spike in interest immediately after London 2012, with more than 120 people getting in touch with Brentwood Handball Club in the months after the Games.

Many were beginners and the club began running Wednesday night sessions for those over the age of 16 who wanted to try the sport.

That is separate from their men's first team, which has been competing in the Development League for three years and this year reached the play-offs.

The club's taster sessions have now finished for the summer, but head coach Hans-Jörg Küller Rabaça is hoping they will be able to start again next season.

He said: "At present, we only cater for male and female players over 16, but hope to be able to have a junior section in the future.

"We would very much like to have a women's team but don't have enough female players yet.

"We hope this will change in the future as we hope to attract more women to handball from the Brentwood area."

The newcomers to the sport were given a taste of competitive action last month when they took on a team from Chelmsford.

The game finished in a 5-4 win for Brentwood, and Küller Rabaça was thrilled with how they did.

"BHC newcomers all showed great commitment and enthusiasm and have demonstrated a good level of handball skills achieved in a very short time," he said.

The BHC newcomers team on the day were Mike Childs in goal, Ani Delaprida, Matthew Weston, Philip Weston (1), Ross Smith, Grant Smith (2), Sean Ayers (1) and Toby Fox-Hammond (1).

BHC are still looking for talented female players over 16 to be able to also stage a women's team in the near future.

Handball is a sport traditionally strong in mainland Europe, but Britain formed a team to compete in 2012.

It is a quick-paced sport and in professional matches both sides often score in excess of 20 goals.

Teams of seven players - six outfielders and a goalkeeper - compete over two halves of 30 minutes.

Contact is allowed only when the defensive player is completely in front of the offensive player; ie, between the offensive player and the goal.

Any contact from the side or especially from behind is considered dangerous and is usually met with penalties.

It was first played in the Olympics in Berlin in 1936, and then returned to the Games in 1972, and has been a fixture ever since.

Eastern European nations old and new have won four golds - two for Yugoslavia and two for Croatia, but France have won the last two gold medals. Team GB lost all five of their games in London, after being drawn in a group which contained the eventual winners and Sweden, who they would beat in the final, while Croatia won the bronze after beating Hungary in the bronze medal match, which was held on the last day of the Games.

For more information about Brentwood Handball Club please visit the club's website at www.brentwoodhandball.co.uk/

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