Chairman Andy Burns discusses the rise of handball
Handball, in the words of Glasgow Handball Club Chairman Andy Burns, is an “exciting sport that is unique as it incorporates all the basic skills that become useful for all other sports: running, jumping, throwing, catching, teamwork and also individual expression.”
It is easy to see why this relatively unknown sport is continuing to develop and succeed, despite its lack of exposure. Burns is happy to admit that the sport in not particularly well known in the UK, but the chairman is convinced this is going to change.
The sport, however, is extremely popular in Scandinavia and is the most popular sport for women in the region, and Burns is hoping that this popularity can be transferred to Britain.
The handball club, who play their home games at the Allander Leisure Centre in Bearsden, have had a lot of success, considering the challenges they face as a club. The men’s team have won the league two out of the past three years, with a back-to-back League and Cup double achieved in that time. Last season was not as victorious due to injury setbacks and loss of key players, but there is keen sense of optimism at the club.
The women’s team has been less successful in recent years and is without a title in five years, however Andy Burns has confidence in this year’s team, stating: “The new ladies this year are special and I think we can challenge for the title.”
Burns is also excited about the development of the sport at grassroots level, saying: “Numbers are definitely on the up for players aged under 16 which is now being noticed with the amount of Scottish players playing for other clubs.” The sport gained a lot more recognition after it was showcased at the London Olympics in 2012.
The club attracts a wide range of nationalities, with players from all over Europe as well as Australia. In recent years, players from Brazil, Iraq, and Tunisia have also flourished at the club. The diversity makes the club exciting and a great opportunity to help players learn about other cultures.
The handball club is certainly a club on the rise but it does face some challenges. Player turnover is often high and this can make consistency and stability within the club difficult to achieve. However Burns argues that, despite the difficulty, it makes the season more interesting.
The club has also faced financial challenges and is looking for a sponsor that is willing to invest in the club and help expand the amount of training sessions that they can offer.
If you are interested in joining the club, or just want to find out more information, the club have a Facebook page facebook.com/Glasgow.Handball.Club and are also on twitter @GlasgowHandball. Their fixtures can be found at www.handball.scot