Confirmation of Fixtures

We’ve managed to get our next two fixtures confirmed, and there are as follows:

Sunday 25th November – v. Loughborough Away in Sutton Bonington. Court is booked between 15:00 and 18:00 as we will be playing both men’s and women’s fixtures, and it will cost £5 per person to cover court costs and fuel costs (which will go back to the drivers as per the last away match).

Sunday 2nd December – v. Warwick at home on the larger side of the usual hall. Court is booked between 13:00 and 15:00, and this will be a men’s game only. Cost per person will be around £3.70 to cover court costs.

In terms of the women’s fixture, everyone who has been to previous sessions who is available to play on the 25th will play. We are looking to take 9 or 10 players for the match, so depending on whether we pick up any newcomers between now and then we may draft in some of the Warwick beginners who played alongside our girls in the university tournament.

However, for the men’s games, because of limits in terms of squad size (and space in cars for the Loughborough fixture), we will be selecting a squad of 15 for both fixtures. It is our intention that everyone who wants to play and has attended sessions fairly regularly will play in at least one of the games. However, we can only guarantee this if we know everyone’s availability in advance. Therefore if you can only make one of the two fixtures, please let us know at either the Tuesday or Thursday session next week, and we will make sure you are selected for the fixture you can attend. Alternatively you can email coventryhandball@gmail.com and let us know you’re availability that way.

We’re really looking forward to building on the performances of the mini-tournament in Sutton Bonington and also those of the students in the West Midlands development tournament over the next few weeks. Though as always we are still open to new members of any experience level, so if you still haven’t come down to a session, why not pop down on Tuesday or Thursday next week? Coventry Sports Centre, 20:30-21:30, Courts 1-4 as always.

Colin.

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Coventry Handball Club – now sponsored by Decathlon!

This week has been an extremely busy one at the club. We had our first men’s matches last Sunday, and we have also been preparing for the university beginners tournaments in Coventry tomorrow. In between these two fixtures, the majority of the time has been spent finalising a sponsorship arrangement with Decathlon Coventry. This is an ideal link for our club, and also solves two of the most notable items on our club ‘to do list’ – buying a set of kits and sourcing sponsorship to help pay for them. We’re really grateful to everyone at Decathlon for supporting our new club and seeing the potential in what we’re trying to do, and I’d also like to thank Paul Cross for all the work he has done in making the deal happen. It will take a little bit of time for all of the kits to be made up, but by the time of our next match we’ll have a full men’s home kits, a set of away kits and also a set of women’s kits for what will be their first match. We had one or two comments on Sunday regarding the fact that we didn’t have matching kits from people who should have known better. I don’t think they’ll be so smug the next time we’re in town. So, for all of you who haven’t already seen it, our men’s home shirt is below – I’ll post pictures of the away kit as well as the women’s kit as soon as they’re completed.

Colin.

Game Day Review

Today we played our first competitive fixtures, and it was a great day from start to finish. Okay, so the slight detour to take in the stunning scenery of the cooling towers near to East Midlands Parkway wasn’t great (I’ll admit, that was entirely due to me misreading the map), but once we were there it was a great day. We played three games in total, one against a team from the University of Lincoln and two against teams from Nottingham University. We attacked the first game with great intensity, commitment and no shortage of skill, and came away with a strong victory. The second game was a slightly different proposition – there was plenty of effort, but the things we were trying that worked well in the first game didn’t seem to come off so well in the second, and ended up in defeat. We then faced the prospect of picking ourselves up straight away for the next match, and so it was a credit to everyone involved that after an extremely tight first 15 minutes we managed to pull away and secure our second victory of the afternoon. Everyone played their part, and the less experienced players came on strongly during the afternoon, especially in defence.

I’d like to take this opportunity to once again thank Nottingham University for hosting the games, and also to the University of Lincoln for coming down to play too. They were three tough, hard-fought games, and after two months doing nothing but training, it was exactly what we needed as a club. Hopefully these will be just the first of many encounters between the teams in the years to come.

I for one cannot wait to get back on the court again and play some more competitive fixtures, so we’ll work hard to get some further fixtures confirmed asap. In the meantime, we’ll look to bring that same intensity to our training sessions as we did for the two sessions last week. So, if you didn’t come along today, we not pop down on Thursday night? It’ll be the best £1.50 you spend all week, guaranteed.

Colin.

Confirmation of Sunday’s Details

Just to confirm the arrangements for Sunday – if everyone can meet outside the sports centre at 12 and bring with them a blue top (preferrably light/sky blue) and a white top. If you’re not driving, bring £3 to pay towards the fuel costs of those that are. For anyone who hasn’t been to a session this week, we do still have a couple more spaces available, but if you do want to play, please let us know by the end of Friday at the latest. We don’t want to have people turning up that we are unable to provide transport for. Look forward to seeing you all on Sunday!

Colin.

First Match Details

First Match Details, Please Read

Our first match is scheduled for Sunday 28th October. This will be a men’s fixture, with our first women’s match scheduled for the end of November, giving us time to hopefully recruit a few extra players. Anyone who has attended sessions is welcome to play, as we are keen to give match experience to as many people as possible.

The hall we are playing in is booked from 13:00-17:00, and we will be playing a series of slightly shorter games against Nottingham and Lincoln. Nottingham managed to get the hall for free, so the only costs are the transport costs. The venue is Sutton Bonington Sports Centre, College Road, Sutton Bonington, LE12 5RD. It is just off the M1, so the journey shouldn’t take much more than 45 minutes. Anybody who takes other people in their car will be reimbursed fuel costs.

In terms of kit, there is a possibility we will have a kit sorted by next Sunday, but in the more likely scenario that we don’t, could everyone please bring with them a blue top (preferably light/sky blue) and a white top.

In terms of transport, the idea is to meet at Coventry Sports Centre and those that have cars to give lifts to everyone who doesn’t. Ideally we would all meet up at 12, but since some of you have already told me that is too early, could everyone who wants to play please COMMENT on this post and provide the FOLLOWING INFORMATION – What is the earliest time you are able to get to Coventry Sports Centre? Do you drive and have access to a car? If so, how many seats does the car have?

Once I have this information I will organise who will be giving lifts to whom, and what time everyone needs be at Coventry Sports Centre for. Since the court is booked for 4 hours those who arrive later will still get a reasonable amount of game time.

Coventry Handball Club in Association with Sports Active

First things first, I’d like to thank everyone who turned up last night. The weather was truly awful but attendance was still excellent, and the quality of the play was easily the highest we’ve had so far. People now seem keen to really work on the defensive side of the game, and we’ll do some work on that during next Thursdays session. We’ll also look to book a specialist skills session prior to our first match – we’ll send out details once everything is confirmed, but it is likely to be on either Monday 22nd or Tuesday 23rd October, with the match the following Sunday afternoon. Again, we’ll send out full details about the match once everything is fully confirmed.

However, the main purpose of this post was to let you know that we’ve agreed a deal to run our Thursday night sessions in partnership with Coventry University’s Sports Active scheme. It’s a scheme that covers a range of sports, and is open to the general public alongside Coventry University students. You can find further details about the scheme via www.coventry.ac.uk/sport .

In terms of the content of the session, nothing will change. We still have full control over how we use our time, and as always we’ll allocate that time however you want us to allocate that time. People generally seem fine with the 30 minutes skills, 30 minutes matches split, but if you’d rather we split the session in a different way, we’re happy to listen to suggestions. And as always if you feel that there’s a specific aspect of the sport you’d like to spend more time on, let us know.

The major difference is the cost. Thursday night sessions will now cost £1.50, and will still be on a pay-as-you-play basis. There’s also a loyalty card scheme that entitles you to free sessions after attend so many sessions, and these sessions cover all of the Sports Active sessions, not just our Handball sessions. In return, all you have to do is fill out a quick personal details form and health questionnaire the first session you attend, and then at every session we will also have to take a register of attendance.

I think that £1.50 for an hour’s Handball offers exceptional value for money, so if you’ve never played before, now is the perfect time to start. Or perhaps if you came to some of our early sessions but haven’t been for a few weeks, this is a great chance to get involved again.

By Colin Littlewood, Chair of Coventry Handball Club.

Women’s Session, Tuesday 16th October

Whilst we have been delighted with the overall progress of our club over the past month or so, there is one area of the club that we have been desperate to address – the women’s team. We’re really keen to be able to field a strong women’s team in Coventry, and the talent and enthusiasm is definitely there judging from what we’ve witnessed at the mixed sessions we’ve run to date. However, the problem has been that, although we’ve had enough girls attend at least one session to form a team, we haven’t been able to get everyone there on the same night. This has meant that the girls have always been in the numerical minority at sessions, hindering any efforts to focus on relevant skills training and providing appropriate opposition in matches.

We’re optimistic that a women’s only session will help to address this, providing those with some previous Handball the opportunity to practice skills and play games with and against other girls. We also think this session provides the perfect opportunity for those who have played Handball before the opportunity to try the sport. So, in recognition of this fact and to try to attract as many girls to our session as possible, the session will cost £1 each. If you’ve never come to a session before, why not bring some friends with you and give the sport a go? After all, there is a reason why Handball is the most played team sport amongst women in mainland Europe.

So, the all important details:

Date – Thursday 16th October

Time – 20:30-21:30

Venue – Coventry Sports Centre (CV1 5RY), Courts 1-4 (if you’ve never been before, don’t worry, we’ll have someone in the lobby to show you up to the court)

Cost – £1 per person

Experience – All abilities welcome

Open to – Women, 18+

Our usual sessions will still run on Thursday nights, and will still be open to both men and women. As things stand we are running this women’s only session as a one-off, though if we can attract enough new players and the demand is there we would definitely be prepared to run it as a regular session, either on Tuesdays or on a different day if that works better for everyone. So, if you know anyone who might be interested in giving Handball a go, send them this way, and if you have any queries or want further information please email coventryhandball@gmail.com .

By Colin Littlewood, Chair of Coventry Handball Club.