It was only last year that the Handball Club at the University of Stirling launched.
Following a season which started with a recruitment drive, saw the club secure victory in their first competitive match, and end with a nomination at the sports awards, Brig caught up with those behind the early success.
Looking back, Alice Hedemo, President of the Handball Club, said: “Though the task of starting a Handball club in Stirling seemed daunting at first, the support and interest from the students and Sports Union have been immeasurable.
“With the help of the sports union and events such as Give-it-a-go and the Sports Bazaar, the club received interest from International and Scottish students, both undergraduates and postgraduates, and grew exponentially in a matter of months.”
Despite being a popular sport in Europe, handball is still relatively new to the UK. Created in Denmark in 1917, it can be described as a sport somewhere between football and basketball.
The quick-paced game only came to England in 1968 and Scotland in 1972. However, it took 40 years for the first British team to be selected for an Olympics in 2012.
The club are the first to bring the sport to the Stirling area, receiving recognition from the Scottish Handball Association following its launch last September. Club President Hedemo added: “The first mixed-gender team in Stirling was quickly established and with the help of our coach and other students’ experiences.
“We were able to win our first competitive game against St. Andrews with a final score of 36-30!”
Following the club’s first competitive game, they hope to organise many more games next year. Hedemo said: “This victory has since helped to build the team’s confidence and has encouraged us to play competitively next year.
“The club will continue to train three times a week and still aims to thrive and grow from all experiences.”
A nomination for the best club at the Sports Union Awards 2022 also came the way of the new club, outlining its early success.
Vice President, Alice Coget added: “This is certainly only the start of the Handball club in Stirling and the interest of students has been essential to the success and recognition the club has gotten this year.
“We hope to keep growing and next year, to put everything we learned into action on a competitive level.
“As our coach reminds us before every game, ‘We might be a new team, but we need to build up, we have a chance to win, so let’s take it.’”
The club are actively looking for new members and further information can be found on Instagram @unistirlinghandball.
Featured Image Credit: UoS Handball Club