The new club is open to local and regional players and will compete in the England Handball Association’s (EHA) U18 National League with two teams (boys and girls). The young players will be representing both the borough and London GD Handball Club’s youth branch in the competitions.
Through the partnership, London GD Handball Club will provide Hackney GD with coaching support and extra training sessions at the Copper Box Arena, where the club is currently based.
The partnership was launched on Saturday 29 August during the Copper Box International Handball Cup where London GD Handball Club held a handball taster session for those under the age of 18.
About 40 children participated in the mixed level handball session. Most of the young players enjoyed the handball activities and some even voiced their ambitions to become stars of the next handball generation.
Marie Aubourg, London GD player and coach at the handball taster session said: “It was great to see so many kids enjoy playing handball and having fun with it.” Aubourg also praised the children for their engagement and added that many of them showed great potential and team spirit.
From the tribunes, parents watched their children learn basic handball skills and become fully immersed in some real handball action on the court.
Tanja Genthe and Marinne Pringot, both parents to children at the session said: “It’s been an amazing day and we’re really happy to see so many children play handball since it’s difficult to find venues in London with so many children playing the sport.”
Although immensely popular in continental Europe, handball remains a fairly unknown grassroots sport in the UK.
London GD Handball Club has worked on several grassroots programmes since the 2012 London Olympics where Great Britain made their debut on the Olympic handball stage.
Being one of the oldest and most successful handball clubs in the UK for senior players, London GD Handball club strives to become an exit route for young handball players who are looking to progress and have the opportunity to play at the highest level within both club and national team competitions.
Remus Bugariu, Chairman of London GD Handball Club, said: “The partnership is the culmination of all our club efforts to finally consolidate a long-term development project into our desired youth handball squads.”
Hackney junior handball player, Yebila Collins expressed delight over the partnership finally coming to fruition and said the players ‘look forward to attracting more youngsters into the world of handball’.
Hackney GD Handball Club will start its weekly junior handball trainings at the Copper Box Arena on Tuesday 1 September from 6-7 pm.
Find more information about the club on its official website.