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Handball club gets huge boost from Olympics
8:00am Sunday 16th September 2012 in News
A CLUB which plays a minority sport has seen a real Olympic boost after participation levels rose after the games.
Brentwood Handball Club has seen an astronomical rise in people wanting to try the sport which received high profile coverage during the Games in London.
Just weeks before the Olympics, training sessions at the Brentwood Centre, in Doddinghurst Road, would see fewer than 15 players turn up.
Match squads for the mens team also saw just eight or nine per game meaning few substitutes were available.
However, within days of the Olympics starting, calls started flooding into the club about taking part, much to the delight of acting chairman Mona Vaeremans.
Mrs Vaeremans said: “We noticed an increased interest in handball just two or three days into the Olympics in July and August.
“Children as well as adults have contacted us wanting to try this exciting and excellent sport.
“I am not wrong if I quote 90 plus requests for joining a training session, which is a wonderful challenge to have.”
In the past Brentwood had a national league winning side until this team folded in the late 1980s with the current club was reformed in 2009.
The sport is one of the most popular across continental Europe and is known for its high velocity style of play and physicality.
“Playing it can be quite an ordeal for your body,” Mrs Vaeremans said.
“As it is physical and fast, it is important to have a good sized squad to give players a chance to rest.
“This is something we haven’t had a great chance to do though at Brentwood as the squad is usually quite small with some matches seeing us with no subs at all.
“However, hopefully the interest the Olympics has given the sport and our club will see the squads get bigger and possibly even start our first competitive womens team, which would be fantastic.
“Our training sessions have been packed with up to 45 people turning up, which is brilliant.”
During September, the club is running special taster sessions at the Brentwood Centre from 7.30pm to 9pm on Mondays at a cost of just £5.