polo brands Handball Club looking for players
Opportunity may be knocking as the Team Kamloops Handball Club heads into its second season.
Team Kamloops is to hold its first practice of the season on Sept. The first practice is open to everyone and free to attend all athletes need is a pair of running shoes.
According to TKHC president Peter Hilton, Team (European) Handball is the second most popular team sport in the world behind soccer and is an Olympic sport.
It also is quite obscure in Kamloops, meaning that there are plenty of opportunities available for Kamloops athletes national championships, provincial teams and, possibly, the Olympics.
Of course, Hilton points out, if people don’t come out and try the sport, they won’t know if they’re any good.
“There are so many possibilities,” Hilton said. “It’s open to anybody. If you are an athlete, or if you have some ball skills, maybe from playing basketball, there’s an opportunity there for you.”
Hilton is quick to add that the club isn’t looking for only elite players it wants players, period. Last season, it had players as young as 11 and old as 82, but most of the roster fell between the ages of 13 and 55.
“There are opportunities, that’s the beauty,” he said. “But it’s also a double edged sword. We don’t want to scare away people who just want to play. We simply want players to come out.”
Team handball is a gym sport played with seven athletes, including a goaltender, on the floor for each team at one time. The handball itself is somewhat smaller than a volleyball, and players must dribble it, like in basketball, while moving around.
Goals are scored by throwing the ball into a net that is similar in size to an indoor soccer goal.
Hilton said team handball isn’t far off from basketball in terms of defensive and offensive strategy, but can be much more physical, especially in the men’s game.
“A lot of basketball players come into handball and do well,” Hilton said. “But the sport it most resembles is water polo, without the water.”
Team Kamloops came into existence in 2009, after Hilton and his family moved to Kamloops from Sweden 2 years ago.
A longtime fan of the sport, Hilton looked to get a club going in Kamloops, and found that some of his colleagues at TRU were former Europeans who also enjoyed playing.
Peter Hilton is hoping that more players can get the opportunities that Emily, Schade and Simon enjoyed in 2009 10. Some of Team Kamloops’ international players went home following the school year, leaving a few holes to fill.