The third annual Tyneside Handball Tournament returns to Temple Park Leisure Centre on Saturday 2 May, looking to further build on the success of last year’s first event at the South Shields venue.
Hosted by Newcastle Vikings Handball Club, the first non-university handball club in North East England who now play their homes matches at Temple Park, the fast-paced, action-packed Olympic sport will see teams from England and Scotland compete in knockout cup and plate competitions. Spectator entry is free for anyone to go along and watch the men’s and women’s matches throughout the day, 9am – 7:15pm in the main sports hall.
Hailing from Norway, home of the Olympic and European women’s handball champions, Newcastle Vikings’ head coach and chairperson Marlen Slinning founded the club with a group of fellow handball enthusiasts in September 2012 in the wake of the London 2012 Olympic Games.
“It’s really taken off and we’re developing rapidly as a club with the help of Sport England and Tyne & Wear Sport grant funding, establishing promising senior and junior teams for both girls and boys, while I also teach handball in local schools.“
She added: “We’ve got a good mix of experienced and new players of all ages at the club now and, after playing our debut season in the Scottish Handball League, we’ve just completed our second competitive season playing in the England Handball North Development League with our men’s and women’s teams both finishing in the top four. Our aim is to grow handball across Newcastle and the North East, so this second tournament in South Tyneside is another step towards that, and hopefully we’ll attract some new members to our club too. This is a great opportunity to come along and watch the fastest ball sport in the world.”
The Tyneside tournament will see Newcastle Vikings’ men take on teams from Durham, York, East Kilbride’s EK82, Edinburgh and reigning champions Glasgow. In the women’s competition, the Vikings ladies will be looking to defend their title against Glasgow, Birmingham’s Cranfield University and a mixed Durham/York team.
For anyone interested in getting involved and having a go at playing handball, Newcastle Vikings Handball Club’s junior and adult teams train on Monday evenings at Temple Park Leisure Centre and Wednesday evenings at the Percy Hedley Sports Academy in Killingworth, North Tyneside. ‘Have a Go’ taster sessions are free!