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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, July 28, 2010

GB Women Will Play Austria Again in World Champs


GREAT Britain women will take on Euro 2010 rivals Austria again after the two sides were drawn in the same group for the 2011 World Championship qualifying tournament.

GB battled hard against Austria in both the home and away legs of their 2010 European Championship campaign, and although they lost both games they will relish the challenge of taking them on again to gauge their progress.

Other teams in Qualifying Group One are Slovakia, Poland and Cyprus, and the matches will be played later this year from November 30-December 5. Cyprus have been given the right to host the matches, with Poland the second choice if Cyprus decline.

British Handball Performance Director Lorraine Brown said: “The group is very competitive, the three teams seeded above us will provide tough seasoned opposition and we should not under estimate Cyprus, but this is where we need to be as we gain valuable competitive experience for London 2012.

“Having played Austria in the 2010 Euro Qualification campaign we know that we can be competitive against them, shown in an improved performance on home soil earlier this year.

“It will therefore be good to play them again six months on to measure progress and see if we can maintain and achieve a consistent performance.

“We again have a good lead-in preparation period planned with a new Strength and Conditioning Coach on board, Lee Ottey, who is delivering great individual plans for players and monitoring them remotely when players are back in their clubs environments, as well as at special Strength and Conditioning mini camps.

“The Four Nation Tournament in Liverpool in September will be a crucial stepping stone as we will play against Switzerland, Portugal and Italy - teams that are also preparing for their world championship qualification tournaments later in the year.

“What will be important is that Head Coach Jesper Holmris has all of the squad available for selection, with a number of players currently recovering from injury.

“We hope that by November the squad will be up to full strength so that we can maximise this exciting period for the woman’s squad as it will provide further benchmarking for individuals and the team as a whole against very competitive teams.”

Handball Celebrates Two Years to Olympics


GREAT Britain handball stars Kathryn Fudge and Huw Goodwin got a taste of the Olympics this week when they attended the celebrations at the Olympic Park in London to mark two years before the games come to London in 2012.

The pair met a host of other sporting aces from all the Olympic disciplines, including three-time Olympic gold medalling cyclist Chris Hoy and sprinter Michael Johnson, as well as London Mayor Boris Johnson and London 2012 chief, Lord Coe.

“It was a great day and is always good to be able to share experiences with other like-minded athletes,” said Huw Goodwin. “To be in the Olympic Park was unbelievable.

“I have been on the viewing platform before and seen the main stadium from a distance, and I thought it was going to be the same. But when we drove into the park and got up close to the venues it was incredible.

“The best moment was being able to walk into the stadium and into the middle with the other athletes. I imagined what it would be like with the stadium full of spectators and what the atmosphere would be like in the opening ceremony.

“Hairs were standing up on the back of my neck and it was a hugely motivating experience. I just can't wait now until London 2012 gets started for real.”

Both Huw and Kathryn were featured live on BBC TV as all the athletes walked around the Olympic park and talked to schoolchildren about their lives as elite athletes and their hopes for the games.

They were also interviewed by the media, who were keen to hear the stories from the so-called minor sports such as handball, just as much as the more established sports.

"We are well on track,” said Lord Coe. “The venues are nearing completion and our plans are coming together. Now it's the public's turn.

“How will you spend the summer of 2012? Whether it's buying a ticket, becoming a volunteer, being part of our education or culture programmes - there are hundreds of ways you can get involved. Don't wait - to ensure you don't miss out, start planning your Games now.”

Holly Spreads the Handball Bug!


GREAT Britain handball player Holly Lam-Moores is helping to spread the word about handball, and during her summer break spent time working with children at a Cheshire primary school.

The 19-year-old winger from Warrington made several visits to Lowton West Primary School and helped the children try out handball as well as work on their project about handball and Olympic Games.

“The kids really got stuck in and it was great to see them get so enthusiastic about handball,” said Holly, whose younger brother attends the school.

“I’ve been helping them with their project over the last few months and they have created some great displays all about the sport. They all seemed to love the game and who knows? Maybe we have some future Olympic handball players at Lowton West?!”

Have You Heard the Buzz?


realbuzz.com is an exciting healthy active living website providing you with a place to talk about all things sport, fitness, health and handball!

British Handball now has a forum on the website where you can ask questions from GB team members or just give your views.

GB goalkeeper Laura Innes - pictured - is the latest to sign up to the site, and has started blogging about her life as an elite athlete and the build-up to the London 2012 Olympics.

You will need to register on the site to access their great features - but it’s free to do so!

To visit the message board go here

To read Laura’s first blog go here

Thursday, July 22, 2010

GB Ace Presents Prizes at Youth Handball Event


GREAT Britain captain Ciaran Williams was on hand to present the trophies and medals at the 15th National Mini Handball Festival staged at Haslingden Sports Centre in Lancashire earlier this month.

More than 100 youngsters and 14 teams entered from schools from mainly across the North West, with the action going on from early morning to late afternoon.

St James Primary School in Blackburn ran out winners of the BJ Rowland Shield, while in the plate competition it was St Andrews School who proved victorious.

The teams were initially split into two groups in a round robin format, with the top two from each group going forward to the BJ Rowland Shield.

This saw Crawshawbooth Primary School in Rossendale lose out to Daisyfield School from Blackburn, while in the other semi final St Joseph’s School from Ramsbottom lost out to St James Primary.

After a closely-fought final, St James A ran out 2-1 winners to secure the Shield for the fourth time.

In the plate event for teams not finishing in the top two of the group stages, Haslingden Primary and St Andrew's Primary went straight through to the semi-final with Whittaker Moss and Hebden Bridge qualifying after play-offs.

Haslingden Primary and St Andrew's made it through to the final but St Andrew's proved to be the stronger team in the end winning 7–1.

All referees and officials were volunteers from the handball world, and ran the event professionally. The event was sponsored by Rossendale SSP and Rossendale Leisure Trust.

It was fitting that Ciaran Williams presented the trophies and prizes, as it was at the same Haslingden Mini Handball Festival that he began his handball career!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

GB Under-21s Enjoy Best Partille Cup Ever


BRITISH teams put on their best ever performances at the Partille Cup in Sweden last week, with the GB Under-21s leading the way, reaching the quarter finals of the competition before going out to the eventual winners.

The cup is one of the biggest tournaments in the world with more than a thousand teams from 50 different countries and over 19,000 players.

GB reached the quarter finals of the main Under-21 competition, where they were beaten 26-10 by eventual winners Lugi HF, who included several members of Sweden’s Under-21 side.

“There was a great fighting spirit in the team,” said Head Coach Bill Baillie. “They did really well, especially when you consider we were without three of our main players in Gawain Vincent, Seb Edgar and David Sherlock.

“Many of the players really rose to the challenge because this is the most success any British team has ever had at Partille. And the fact that we lost to the eventual winners is great. We saw Lugi play the day before, and we thought they were the strongest team in the competition.”

Top-scorer with 23 goals was Chris Mohr (pictured), while Alex Girvan added 15. Nicholas Satchwell did well in goal with a save ratio of 48 per cent, while Frank Forsting was consistently strong in defence.

The team will now prepare for the Cell Cup in Hungary from August 7-12, where they will continue to be assessed ahead of selection for the 2011 Under-21 World Championships in January.”

For more details about the Partille Cup go to www.PartilleCup.com