Future of British Handball after Olympics looking bright as public interest increases

 

Chairman of British Handball John Brewer is revelling in the way handball has made an impact on the consciousness of the British public at the Olympic Games and has called on UK Sport to help them capitalise on it.

Britain is getting its first real taste of the sport, which is massive in continental Europe and Scandinavia, and the initial response has been largely positive.

Virtually all of the reviews from first-time spectators at the Copper Box and on television have been glowing and after both the men's and the women's sides performed credibly in their opening games, the support has gone viral.

"The huge interest that has been sparked in the media is phenomenal," Brewer told Press Association Sport. "We have been spoken about on breakfast TV, it's been mentioned on Twitter, everyone is talking about handball, asking why they hadn't heard about it and asking how they can play it and that is what we wanted to achieve.

"I was so proud to sit on the train listening to people talking about handball, for me it has sparked a huge interest it.

"Whenever there is an Olympics there is always a sport that captures the imagination that people weren't aware of and certainly at this moment that is handball and that's largely down to the performances in the Copper Box over the last 48 hours.

"The fear was that we would be playing in front of a half-empty stadium and nobody would take much notice. The real hope was that we would take part with real credibility in front of a packed house and get on TV and that is exactly what has happened."

While the two Great Britain sides were formed with the intention of competing at London 2012, progress has been such that the future of British Handball beyond the Games is looking extremely bright.

But for them to make the step up to the next level they need plenty of post-Olympics funding and Brewer is hoping the attention sparked by their displays in London gives the governing body a nudge.

"We have a four-year plan that takes us up to Rio 2016 and we are presenting that to UK Sport in October," he added. "What we really hope is that they look beyond medals.

"At the moment the funding is based on medals and medal-winning potential and I think that is a real shame if that continues after this Olympics because handball has come a long way to get here.

"If that funding is stopped it wastes the money that was invested and it fails to capitalise on the opportunity we have.

"We have had meetings with the president of the IHF, who is so excited with what he has seen and the interest in handball that the British public is showing that he has said to us, 'Tell us how we can help you'.

"We are really excited about that because we really do have a great story to tell. Having them helping us, I hope we can convince UK Sport that while we might not have medal-winning potential in Rio, what we do have is the potential to build on the success of this Games."

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria's capital

War with Isis

Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria
Scientists develop mechanical spring-loaded leg brace to improve walking

A spring in your step?

Scientists develop mechanical leg brace to help take a load off
Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock: How London shaped the director's art and obsessions

Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock

Ackroyd has devoted his literary career to chronicling the capital and its characters. He tells John Walsh why he chose the master of suspense as his latest subject
Ryan Reynolds interview: The actor is branching out with Nazi art-theft drama Woman in Gold

Ryan Reynolds branches out in Woman in Gold

For every box-office smash in Ryan Reynolds' Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. It's time for a rethink and a reboot, the actor tells James Mottram
Why Robin Williams safeguarded himself against a morbid trend in advertising

Stars safeguard against morbid advertising

As film-makers and advertisers make increasing posthumous use of celebrities' images, some stars are finding new ways of ensuring that they rest in peace
The UK horticulture industry is facing a skills crisis - but Great Dixter aims to change all that

UK horticulture industry facing skills crisis

Great Dixter manor house in East Sussex is encouraging people to work in the industry by offering three scholarships a year to students, as well as generous placements
Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head

Hack Circus: Technology, art and learning

Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head. Rhodri Marsden meets mistress of ceremonies Leila Johnston
Sevenoaks is split over much-delayed decision on controversial grammar school annexe

Sevenoaks split over grammar school annexe

If Weald of Kent Grammar School is given the go-ahead for an annexe in leafy Sevenoaks, it will be the first selective state school to open in 50 years
10 best compact cameras

A look through the lens: 10 best compact cameras

If your smartphone won’t quite cut it, it’s time to invest in a new portable gadget
Paul Scholes column: Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now

Paul Scholes column

Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now
Why Michael Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Why Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Manchester United's talented midfielder has played international football for almost 14 years yet, frustratingly, has won only 32 caps, says Sam Wallace
Tracey Neville: The netball coach who is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

Tracey Neville is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

The former player on how she is finding time to coach both Manchester Thunder in the Superleague and England in this year's World Cup
General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?