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

If you have a story for Handball News, please mail it to newsdesk@snowdons.co.uk or call 07866004382
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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Commonwealth nations meet in Egypt

As the world’s handball leaders descend on Cairo next week (4-7 June) for the International Handball Federation’s Congress, the Commonwealth’s handball nations will also be taking the opportunity to hold their own meeting.

Formed in 1985 in Salford, the Commonwealth Association was active in promoting handball throughout the English-speaking world throughout the 1980’s and 90’s.

Indeed during this time English club and national teams took part in Commonwealth competitions in Cyprus, Nigeria, Kenya, India, Bangladesh, South Africa and Malaysia.

The election meeting in Egypt will seek to inject new impetus into the body, which has been largely inactive since 2000, and whose aim is to gain handball’s admission to the Commonwealth Games.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Sheffield hosts English Cup final

The English Institute of Sport in Sheffield is to host the finals of this season’s English Cup on Saturday 6 June.

Previously named the British Cup, the competition is now open only to men’s and women’s teams in England.

The BHA's Handball News reports that the one-day event will feature a men’s plate final, a men’s final between Great Dane and Olympia and a women’s final between Great Dane and Ruislip Eagles.

Timings for the event are 1.00 pm men’s Plate final, 3.00 pm women’s Cup final, 5.00 pm men’s Cup final.

Pictured: Ruislip Eagles women's team

Training week for British squads

The half term school holiday week finds Great Britain’s elite handballers hard at work on separate training camps in Europe as they continue their preparations for London 2012. 

GB’s players have travelled from their home clubs across Europe, with the women in Spain and the men training in Germany.

First blood to Kiel

Germany’s league and cup champions, Kiel, are half way to the triple following their defeat of Ciudad Real over the weekend.

In the first leg of the Champions League final in a packed out Sparkassen Arena in Kiel, the Germans won 39-34.

Handball fans following the action at ehfTV.com, the European Handball Federation’s TV platform, were treated to an excellent full match  commentary in English for the first time, thanks to a new initiative by the EHF.

The return leg in Cuidad Real will be played on Sunday 31 May at 5.00 pm.

Follow the build up to the event on the EHF’s Champions League homepage and all the action live and on demand at ehfTV.com

Friday, May 22, 2009

Euro season finale

The European handball season reaches its final stages this weekend as Kiel and Ciudad Real meet for a re-match of the last year’s Champions League final.

Defending champions, Ciudad Real, travel to Germany for the first-leg of the final in a sold-out Sparkassen Arena in Kiel on Sunday.

The return match will be played in Ciudad Real’s Quijote Arena on Sunday, 31 May 2009.

Handball fans in the UK can follow the action live, courtesy of the internet TV platform, ehfTV.com.

The two finals will also be commentated live in English thanks to a new initiative by EHF Marketing.

Sky and cable viewers will be able to watch highlights of European handball premier club competition on Eurosport 2.

Sunday's match throws-off at 5.45 pm UK time.

Handball app released for the iPhone

The first handball game has appeared on the Apple iPhone and iPod Touch.

7M Handball Contest is available now from the Apple iTunes store.

The game using the touch screen to aim, apply spin and shoot in a one on one against the goalkeeper from the penalty line.

Handball fans willing to fork out the £2.39 for the app can download it and an online version is also available.

Mühlematter out of UK conference

As reporting on the Fastbreak blog and in this week’s edition of Handball News, Peter Mühlematter, Secretary General of the International Handball Federation, was due to attend the international Play the Game conference from 8-13 June in Coventry.

Unfortunately due to family reasons Mühlematter will no longer be attending the conference, where he was due to talk about the on-going political issues within the IHF.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Perfect venue, wrong sport

Somebody has gone and built the perfect handball venue in Swindon.

A full-sized handball court, junior court, handball goals, a proper sports floor and no other floor markings to confuse things, all in one building.

The company behind the venture are also planning to open a venue in every major city in the country.

Too good to be true? Well, possibly.

It wasn’t built for handball, but for futsal, FIFA’s official indoor football game, played five a-side on a handball court.

@Futsal, the company behind the venture, have converted a former warehouse into a futsal arena, with warm-up areas, a physio room and café.

The company are predicting that futsal could really take off in the UK as they aim to open 30 venues within the next three years.

They could be right, the FA are already promoting the game through the national team and their county associations, and others are also seeing the potential for the sport, the Royal National College for the Blind for example have recently open a new £21 million facility with a dedicated futsal court.

The next @Futsal venue will be built in South Wales and more venues are planned for Birmingham, London and Manchester.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Be part of London 2012

With Britain’s handball elite plying their trade overseas, the London 2012 Olympic Games can often seem a distant prospect to UK handballers.

However, Olympic organisers are now challenging clubs and organisations to get involved, open up and be part of London 2012.

Clubs are being invited to take part in the 'London 2012 Open Weekend', which will take place between 24-26 July 2009, and feature a series of London 2012 inspired events around the country.

The theme for this year’s event is ‘Open Up’, and London 2012 are asking organisations to challenge themselves and their local community to try something new, join in and be inspired by the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Last year 700,000 people took part in over 650 events.

Events selected by London 2012 will receive a marketing kit with posters, postcards, banners and web banners.

Registration is now open at london2012.com.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

GB court Norwegian star

Great Britain may have unearthed a new star as they prepare for the London 2012 Games.

Norwegian first division player, Helene Vinknes from Kristiansand-based club, Vag Vipers, has been invited to trial for the British side.

The 24 year-old defence-specialist has a British grandmother, and believes that she could qualify to play for Great Britain at London 2012.

Vag finished seventh in the Norwegian first division this season and made it the semi-finals of the Norwegian Cup.

According to reports on the Norwegian website fvn.no, the British Handball Association is now looking into the player's eligibility to play for Great Britain.

Bundesliga move for GB player

Yet another British player is heading for the Bundesliga.

Recently promoted German side, SG BBM Bietigheim, have signed Yvonne Leuthold, as they make the jump from the Regionalliga (third division) to the German second division.

Leuthold, who made her GB debut at the Four Nations tournament in Sheffield in October 2008, is currently signed for Swiss outfit, DHB Rotweiss Thun.

The 1.77 metre backcourt player notched up 97 goals this season for the Swiss club, and was the team’s second best goalscorer, helping them to avoid relegation from Nationalliga A.

The 28 year-old has played 34 international matches for Switzerland, scoring 39 goals, but the prospect of playing in the Olympics was too tempting for the dual nationality player.

Commenting about her decision to play for Great Britain, Leuthold said: “Which sportsman or women doesn’t dream of playing in the Olympics.”

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Underfunding debate rumbles on

Since UK Sport's funding announcement in January, Handball like the other sports who found out that they would receive considerably less funding, has got on with the job of preparing teams for the 2012 Olympics. Of course none of us have given up the fight to see that our sport is fairly represented at the games, and to maximise the long term benefit of this extraordinary opportunity provided by the London Olympics.

All of these sports are working hard to ensure they provide the best possible coaching and competitive opportunities for the athletes within their vastly reduced budgets, they are also having to focus their attention on seeking out commercial partners in the worst economic downturn many of us have known, in order to fill their funding gap.

Even when we think that there is a glimmer of hope in the shape of the BOA/UKS/LOCOG Team 2012 initiative, we are firmly told that there is no guarantee that the revenues generated by this fund will be used to replace the shortfall to the 8 Olympic and 4 Paralympic sports. Instead UK Sport will decide how it will be distributed, and this despite UK Sports 'nice' words in January that if the money had been there, they would have optimally funded all the sports.

But there are people who are prepared to speak out against the UK Sport 'no compromise' approach which was intended to deliver Britain's best ever medal haul, but is actually having the most destructive effect in British sport just 3 years out from the Olympics. Peter King, former CEO of British Cycling, speaking at the recent CCPR conference said UK Sport had created false expectations of funding among the country's minor Olympic sports and then "chopped them off at the knees" by slashing their budgets for 2012. Simon Hart, The Telegraph 6th May

Furthermore Hugh Robertson, the the Shadow Minister for Culture Media and Sport asked Andy Burnham the Minister for Culture,Media and Sport 'how the funds raised by Team 2012 will be allocated to each sporting discipline' to which he was given the reply 'Money received by UK Sport from Team 2012 will be allocated and distributed to Olympic and Paralympic sports according to their 'no compromise' investment strategy and against the 10 investment principles published in June 2008, with the aim of delivering the overall targets for London 2012 of Top 4 in the Olympics and 2nd in the Paralympics with more medals won in more sports'.

Given the 'the haves and have not' landscape that UK Sport have so successfully created, is it any wonder that UK Sport are struggling to win the trust of many people in sport? a matter recently highlighted when Peter Keen, Performance Director at UK Sport was recently reported as saying "One of the things we've found difficult as an organisation is to strive to gain real trust and mutual understanding with people and balance that with the inevitability of accountability and scrutiny." Cycling an Olympic example for others, says UK Sport performance chief.

Trust is mutual and has to be earned and all parties have to be accountable for their actions. I feel sure we have not heard the last of this debate.

Paul Goodwin
CEO British Handball