Hands up who wants to play a new sport in Fife!

Kingdom Handball Club coaches and youngsters at a recent taster session at Glenwood High School. Pic: Fife Photo Agency
Kingdom Handball Club coaches and youngsters at a recent taster session at Glenwood High School. Pic: Fife Photo Agency
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A new handball club has been set up in Fife off the back of the enthusiasm for the sport at the 2012 Olympic Games.

Kingdom Handball Club train and play at Glenwood High School Community Use in Glenrothes with classes for children aged seven to 11 years.

The club was the brain-child of Duncan Caithness and Michael Kavanagh, both employed as sports development officers at Fife Council, who picked up on a growing interest in the sport following its inclusion in the London Olympics.

Duncan, club president and coach, explained: “A lot of calls starting coming into Fife Council asking about handball.

“At the time the nearest club was in Dundee but Fife is quite a big area to have nothing so Michael and I decided the best way we could make a difference was to run a club ourselves.

“We chose Glenrothes as our base as it’s in the heart of Fife, and after sorting out funding and qualifications, we got ourselves affiliated with Scottish Handball and formed as a club towards the end of 2013.”

At the moment the club operates purely as a junior section, Kingdom Coyotes, with 29 youngsters across three age groups - under eight, under 10 and under 12 - currently enrolled in a five-week taster programme at Glenwood.

All of the children will be offered the chance to become full members of the club following the tasters, while the long term aim is to have both an adult and junior section that attracts members from all over

“We’re looking to gradually build from the bottom up because it’s easier to attract kids into a new sport,” Duncan said.

“We didn’t know at first whether the kids would take to it or not.

“When you mention handball to them they tend to just look at you, but once they get a chance to try it, they really enjoy it.

“The London Olympics was the first time many people had actually seen it. It’s one of those sports that’s very popular in Europe.

“It’s one of the fastest and most exciting sports you can play. The best way to describe it is like football with your hands!

“The focus with the younger ones is purely on doing something fun while keeping physically active.

“At first the under eights struggled to find space, throw and catch but you can really see the improvement in them, which is great.

“At under 12s we start to work more on skills, tactics and the game itself. It’s not an expensive sport for kids to participate in.”

The club has secured funding from Kirkcaldy & Central Fife Sports Council, Communities 2014 and the Big Lottery Fund, and has also been given Fife Council’s ‘ClubFife’ accreditation.

Meg Buchanan, sports development officer, said: “I am delighted that Kingdom Handball Club is enrolled on the ClubFife scheme.

“The club has worked hard to ensure they will provide an environment for all to enjoy and develop in handball.

“A lot of time, effort and enthusiasm is being injected which makes for a very exciting future at the club.”

Anyone interested in handball can contact Kingdom Handball Club by emailing kingdomhandball@hotmail.com or calling 07780903016.