You can read the Feb 2012 President’s (Daniel Grant) report below, and you can download the full newsletter here:Feb 2012 Newsletter
England Handball Chairman’s Report
England Handball has undergone immense change recently, and 2012 is sure to be an exciting year. I was delighted to take over the chairmanship from James Toop in October. He has laid some impressive foundations for the sport and now is the time to build on them.
Over the summer the ‘Reset’ button was essentially pushed as key members of our board had to move on. The new team will follow the pathway laid out in our new five-year plan.
With resources temporarily reduced, our focus needs to be more targeted, so we’re putting a lot of work into our Schools programme. Recent successes at both Merchant Taylors’ and a group of Hertfordshire primaries has shown us we’re doing the right thing. Our development work out of the Westway Centre will continue under the lead of Gareth Price, and our School programme will target large secondaries around the country with a view to creating handball hubs at strategic locations. We would like some more Fives-playing schools to take up the sport, so we’d encourage any interested Fives master or pupil to get in touch! We hope the adult game will grow, and we’re already on the way thanks to Dan Murray who has launched the UK’s first university handball club at Worcester.
Having travelled around the world for handball, I’ve seen what is possible. The ambassadorial role of the national team is paying off and England is now a well-respected handball nation. The recent UK Open was supported by the World Players of Handball, an organisation committed to seeing handball reach as wide an audience as possible. We’ll also be working closely with the Irish GAA and are in talks with England Racquetball to see if we can introduce 4-wall Handball to England. Finally, we’re very pleased to be part of the Fives Federation.
The World Championships are in Dublin in October. This will be the biggest handball event ever staged and I would encourage everyone to give it a go. It’s split into 4-wall and 1-wall sections, and you can play both or either. I know I speak for everyone who went to the 2009 event when I say that it was one of the best experiences of my life. It’s aweinspiring to see so many others from around the world passionate about Fives-type games.
In line with the decision to move Handball forward for Olympic inclusion and to avoid confusion with Team Handball, the name ‘Handball’ will soon be changing to ‘Wallball’. And so perhaps the greatest challenge of 2012 will be to say: “I play 1-wall Wallball” after a couple of pints.