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Find out about one of the continent's favourite sports - handball
4:44pm Wednesday 1st August 2012 in Latest News
The beauty of the Olympic Games is in the eye of the beholder. For those of us that love it, it ticks so many boxes. For me, it is the chance to see a sport which I am less familiar with, and suddenly feel like a fanatic.
Approaching the Games, I knew very little of the sport of handball but after a few sessions in the Copper Box, I am hooked.
The concept is simple; try to score more goals than the opposition. As odd as it may sound, it could be considered broadly similar to football, aside from the obvious fact that you are not allowed to use your feet and, as the name suggest, handling is rather a key aspect of the game.
There is also the matter that fouling appears to be encouraged to an extent as it disrupts the rhythm of the attacking side.
Great Britain have entered both a men’s and women’s team into the competition and, as I write this, both are still searching for their first win in the tournament.
However, this is the first time we have ever entered teams into the competition. You might not have heard much about the sport on these shores, but it is incredibly popular on the continent, particularly in Eastern Europe and Scandinavia. According to television figures, it is the second most popular ball sport in Europe, behind only football.
The sport has its High Performance Centre in Crystal Palace, ensuring there is plenty of London interest in the competition. Many of the women’s team are connected to the facility while in the male ranks, Sebastien Edgar is based in Watford when not with his club side Nimes in France.
It seems I am not the only one to have taken to handball however. If you are fortunate enough to get the chance to visit the Copper Box, you will be blown away by the atmosphere, especially if you are fortunate enough to watch one of the British sides. If you’ve already been, I am sure you will agree with me.
If you have tickets for later in the competition, I have no doubt you will enjoy the experience and come away a lot more aware of the great spectacle that is handball. If you are considering a trip to the Olympic Park and are able to get your hands on tickets, I would have no hesitation in pointing you in this direction.