Whenever you embark on a new chapter in your life, it’s inevitable that you start thinking a bit ahead of yourself. I’m absolutely terrible at this in all aspects of my life, and so it has proved setting up Coventry Handball Club. We haven’t even hosted our first session yet (REMINDER: it’s Thursday 6th September, 20:30-21:30 at Coventry Sports Centre, Courts 1-4), but I’ve regularly found myself thinking way beyond that. Some of the things I’ve been thinking about have been important issues, such as at what point in the club’s development would it be appropriate to expand into running junior teams? But inevitably my mind starts to wander into more trivial areas. Yesterday I was ordering some Handballs (a rather important purchase) and found myself straying towards the kits, imagining what our kit could look like. The day before I started wondering what our entrance music should be.
Whilst being distracted from the job in hand isn’t usually to be recommended, there is an upside to this. One of my main goals when setting up the club was simply to organise a regular opportunity for me to play Handball with others. New Handball clubs are springing up all over the country, and I’m sure most of their founders will have had exactly the same motivation. That’s how I want to be spending my free time. Spending my evenings sending out emails corresponding with people like local sports centres was less high on my agenda. Unfortunately though many of the behind-the-scenes tasks are vitally important if a club is to move forward. It’s time-consuming work, but it becomes a lot easier when it’s related to a goal that you’re enthusiastic about. In these moments, allowing yourself to dream about things a long way down the line is actually a good motivating tool to put in the hard yards now. I suppose it’s like an Olympic athlete starting their training cycle for the next Olympics – some of the things you’ll do won’t be fun, but if you keep that goal in your mind then it helps you put in the work that needs to be done in the short-term.
On days like today, things like that come in handy. Things nearly went very well, but in the end things were slightly frustrating. The primary task for today was one of those tasks that is necessary but boring when setting up a new club – opening a club bank account. We’ll be paying monthly for our sports hall hire, and if we haven’t paid, we don’t play, so an organised banking system is necessary. So, our treasurer Paul and myself went to set an account up. Once we had found the right person, we got the forms that we needed (well, most of them – we had to go back because one of them was missing), and headed off to the nearby library to fill them out. We had all of the relevant information available, and all of our necessary proofs of ID/address too. We could have opened the account there and then were it not for one small section which we need our Club Secretary Duane to sign. Having been so close to getting everything set-up, I’m now going to have to make two additional journeys before it’s sorted. It’s far from a disaster, but I’d far rather be spending that time doing something else.
But then on the way home I walked through Broadgate, which for those of you unfamiliar with Coventry is an area in the city centre which has recently been turned back into a fully pedestrianised zone. This makes the area far more suitable for hosting outdoor events, and this week they’ve got a roller disco. It seemed like a lot of fun, and certainly was bringing the crowds in. It led Paul and myself to discuss how great it could be if at some stage in the future we could hold a street Handball event there, possibly on an inflatable pitch. The frustrations of the bank were quickly forgotten as the excitement of the future prospects of the club once again took over. So, my advice for anyone out there also going through the various demands of setting up a new club is that when you find yourself frustrated our bored by some of the behind-the-scenes tasks, take a moment to daydream and remember the exciting goals and moments that lie ahead.
By Colin Littlewood, Chair of Coventry Handball Club.