Earlier this year, BUCS’ Innovative Sport Review saw handball asked to deliver a successful pilot of its proposal over the coming season, with a view to initiating formal BUCS implementation for the 2020-21 season.
This recognition gives added impetus to the annual British University Handball Championships, which this season is set to take place over the weekend of 6-8 March 2020 down at the Medway Sports Park in Kent.
Newcastle University doesn’t currently have a men’s or women’s handball team, but it does have a rich handball heritage. In fact, Newcastle University was one of the top handball clubs in the country back in the late 1960s and early 1970s when handball was first introduced to the UK. Initiated by a group of mainly Norwegian students, they were dominant five-time winners of the men’s British University Handball Championships and also defeated Great Britain’s fledgling handball teams in the 1972 Geordie Cup tournament a few weeks before the British team’s debut in Olympic qualification competition!
After a 20-year hiatus, a mid-1990s revival of the university championships once again saw Newcastle’s mostly Scandinavian men’s and women’s teams do really well, including becoming the first women’s university handball champions in 1995.
Further details can be found on the England Handball Association’s website. Also check out the NETZ Handball Network on Instagram, which is the home of the University Friendly Games Series (UFX) and has partnered with the EHA to run this season’s University Handball League (UHL) competition.
Anyone interested in playing handball, whatever your level of experience, is welcome to join the training sessions with Newcastle Vikings Handball Club, who have multi-national men’s and women’s teams playing in England’s league and cup competitions and boast several past and present Newcastle University students in their squads. Training is free for the first two taster sessions with discounted student membership options thereafter. They take place on Monday and Wednesday evenings, 7:00-8:30pm at the Benfield Centre for Sporting Excellence, which is just a short 5-minute walk from Walkergate Metro Station.
More details about training sessions and forthcoming home matches to go and watch can be found on the NVHC website at www.newcastlehandball.co.uk and their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.