Welcome to Newquay Handball Club

Inspired by the success of Handball at the London Olympics, Newquay Handball Club formed in October 2012 as the first ever Handball team in Cornwall. Fortunately this coincided with Handball genius Jurgen Koenen moving to the county, he has coached a bunch of enthusiastic beginners who didn't even have a decent grasp of the rules, into Handball matchplayers.

New players are always welcome, no experience is necessary as Jurgen has coached from beginner to professional level handball. We are open to men and women age 16 plus.

Training sessions are based around fitness, energy, fun, and of course Handball tutoring. Come and give the game a try!

Stay tuned on Twitter, join the Facebook Group or just turn up to a session!

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Newquay 24 – Plymouth 17

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Newquay Handball Club returned to the venue of their first competitive match to play a fast developing Plymouth Squad and put the finishing touches to their pre-season training. After 6 week of high-intensity training, this was the perfect opportunity to put together everything the team had been working on and remind the players of the work that is needed to get a result.

Things didn’t start exactly as coach Jurgan K would have wanted with Newquay happy to return to old habits, but following some words from the coach, things quickly changed going into the later stages of the first half, with Goals being produced from all over the field based on a whole team effort and a strong defense limiting Plymouths chances, with Keeper Geoff M ever ready to step in when he we needed.
The first period of the second half proved to be extremely fruitful for Newquay with backs Adolf B, Tristan M-F and Jurgan K, linking up to provide plenty of close range chances for Kevin W. Going into the last 15 minutes, Newquay’s defense took their chance to show their stuff, with Adolf B, Alpar M, Hauke M and Paul B getting involved in the center to break down the Plymouth attack to provide plenty of quick balls for the wing player to feed off.

One of the many promising aspects of the game was the strong link-up between new player Hauke M and Alpar M, working together on no less than 3 occasions throughout the match to create fast-break chances that quickly turned into goals.

Afterwards, center-back Tristan M-F said “For me it was great to go back to Plymouth, where I first picked up a handball and see how much they have come on, great numbers and commitment to keep it going! For us a useful day at the office with lots to work on before the league campaign starts next week!!”

A Huge thank you to everyone at Plymouth Handball Club for making today happen and showing how fast they are progressing and developing with a deep/diverse team. We look forward to seeing them in the League in the near future as they would be an asset to competitive handball in the south.


Sandball on Watergate

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Saturday 2nd August promises to be another fun filled day of beach handball awesomeness. Bring your showboating skills, we throw off at 10.30am and will probably go through till about 3/4pm-ish.

The cheapest place to park (£3 for the day) is on the west hill, it’s a short walk down. There are shops down on the beach which probably sell refreshments, but I can’t remember exactly, so best bring food and drink. The event is free to enter!

where to park for sandball 2014


Newquay Handball Club asked for an exhibition game vs. British cup winner but in the end found new friends

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11am Saturday morning, the Head coaches of Newquay Handball Club and Salford Handball Club left Ross Ellis at Truro Studio of BBC Cornwall. Each accompanied by one player of their Teams. Chris McDermott, member of Team GB at the London 2012 Olympics, for Team Salford and Geoff Muskett, President and Goalkeeper of Newquay Handball Club. A normal working day for Ross Ellis. But nothing was normal at this weekend.

BBC Cornwall

Creativity, determination, courage and hard work formed a Handball Team out of a couple of people, who were inspired watching handball at the London 2012 Olympics. Nobody knew where the travel would lead them to, but there was definitely no plan playing against Olympians just 18 month later. The inspiration probably comes from Jürgen Koenen, German Head coach of the Team, but when understanding what this game really is about it was like a virus that infected the English players. Eddie Percy-Hughes, wing player of Newquay Handball Club expressed it like this: “First I stayed, because I didn’t want to disappoint Geoff. Then suddenly Jürgen came with the idea to play in the league and I was totally scared. But I stayed because I didn’t want to disappoint Jürgen. And now I just love it and nothing can make me leave again!” The first season was a great success, expressed in 2 wins, 1 draw and the awareness to be quite close to the other Teams.
In order to promote Handball in Cornwall and to support the ongoing progress, the idea was born, to invite Salford HC, one of the best Teams in the Country. Like Newquay Handball Club, the Salford squad are mainly British players. Such obvious similarities and a former friendly contact between Bill Baillie, Head coach of Salford HC and the national Team with Newquays German coach were the base for Salford to except Newquays invitation.

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So on Saturday the 14th the Tennis Hall of the Dragon leisure centre in Bodmin was transformed in a Handball arena. This was only possible with the great support of the staff of the leisure centre and friends and families of the Newquay squad.

The game itself ended like to be expected in a 38 – 10 win for Salford. The speed and ball handling were just on another level. But Newquay showed that they were at the beginning of a process, that might lead them to a similar level one day. Especially the performances of the youngsters Ben Haddrell (18years) and Hauke Moll (16years) were noticed by Bill Baillie and Scott Harrington (National U20 Coach). Everybody in the Team made individual progress. The speed of Team Salford will be inspiration for the next season.

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The relationship between the Teams was substantiated in a “rematch” at Newquays Porth Beach. A lot of fun with “Beach Handball” and the winner at least was Handball in Cornwall. The loss of England’s Football Team became a minor matter on that day.

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Bill Baillie stated several times that it is a major concern for him to support clubs like Newquay Handball Club, even if this means a 7 hour ride by car.
So in advance he had offered a workshop for Sunday. This was mainly accepted by Newquay players. Although tired from the day before, the 90min session with the national coach, supported by the U20 coach and many players of Team Salford was another step forward. Surprisingly they found out, that they already work in a similar way, but especially the intensity was completely different.

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Both Teams enjoyed this weekend so much that they planned to make a regular thing out of this. So no worries if you missed the opportunity to watch the fantastic sport live. There will be another chance next year.

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Especially interested young players shouldn’t wait and get in touch with Jürgen Koenen (me@juergen-koenen.co.uk). There is no need to have played before.
Just give it a try and use the next year to introduce yourself in one year time to the national top coaches.

The club is constantly growing, so if you are interested to get involved in any other way than just playing, don’t hesitate to get in touch.


Newquay to welcome Olympians in Exhibition game 14th June

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Newquay vs Salford exhibition game 14th June

 

With the odds stacked against them, and contrary to the advice of some experienced Handball officials, in 2013 Newquay Handball Club joined the national league structure; lining up against some of the big guns of South West Handball like Bristol, Bath, Southampton, Oxford and Cardiff. With the first season now under their belt, including some head-turning results, Newquay now embark on their biggest challenge to date: the UK’s #1 team, Salford, are coming to town.

Saturday the 14th June, 2pm throw off at The Dragon Centre in Bodmin is an occasion not to be missed. Salford will bring to Cornwall a wealth of British handball talent, including London 2012 Olympians, members of the current GB squad, under 21 internationals and the current GB coach.

For Handball in England, teams don’t come any bigger than Salford. Attracting such a team is testament to Newquay’s hard work over the past 18 months, not just on the field but off it too. Establishing a new sport in Cornwall is no mean feat, this match is recognition of NHC’s achievement, a stamp of approval, and a springboard for the future of Handball in Cornwall.

Spectators are very welcome, the suggested entry donation is just £1. Children under 16 are free, doors open from 1.30pm.

In addition to the grand spectacle, Newquay and Salford will be running free Handball workshops for under 16s. An incredible opportunity for young people in Cornwall to try the sport, meet Olympic athletes and be instructed by the national team coach! There will be competitions, prizes, and all sorts of Handball fun and games.

Workshops will be held from 1-4pm on Sunday 15th June at Cornwall’s Handball arena – Bodmin Dragon Centre. All are welcome from ages 12-16, parents can stay and watch if they wish, and whats more – workshops are free entry!


2013/14 season review

Newquay’s first season has drawn to a close, and what a journey it has been for Cornwall’s first and only competitive Handball club; finishing with two wins, a draw, and some highly competitive narrow defeats. Earning the club an impressive 5th in the South & West Development League.

All of this against teams based in large cities as far away as Oxford, Cardiff, Bath, Bristol and Southampton. These long established clubs benefit from the backing of major universities, outstanding existing facilities, and experienced players from all over the world. Make no mistake, in such a short space of time Newquay’s achievements have exceeded all expectations.

Olympic Legacy

NHC is a shining example of Olympic Legacy; proof that bringing top level sport to the country can inspire. Handball was one of the surprise success stories from London 2012, captivating a consistently sold-out Copper Box and enthralling millions of TV viewers. Clubs throughout the country saw a spike in participation; Bristol reported 44 new players coming to training in the weeks following The Games. New clubs sprouted up here and there, but where many of them fell from lack of funding/facilities/coaching expertise, Newquay have gone from strength to strength.

Luck has played it’s part, however, with handball genius Jürgen Koenen moving to Cornwall at the point of the clubs inception. Without his expert guidance as coach there’s no way the NHC would have progressed to the level they are now.

The first training session was held at Newquay Treviglas Sports Hub in October 2012, with 18 willing participants, a bag of Handballs kindly purchased by Worlds Apart, and a large dose of blind enthusiasm. The evening was a success, thoroughly enjoyed by everyone. Sessions continued weekly with mats up against the walls until some inflatable goals were acquired.

At this time Plymouth were also beginning to develop the sport through the University and Marjon’s college. Within a few weeks a three way friendly tournament was on the cards. NHC’s first taste of team Handball, and a sign of things to come.

Tough times

It wasn’t always plain sailing, with a number of founding members moving away from Cornwall for work reasons. Some weeks training consisted of only four or five people. It’s hard enough to set up any new club, but to set up a new club and a whole new sport in a region is seriously tough. Zero existing facilities, zero equipment, zero funding, zero experience for most of the players.

However, there has always been a feeling that Newquay are building something special, pioneering a new sport for Cornwall. Through word of mouth, and support from The Newquay Voice, Radio Cornwall and other local press, news spread that Newquay have a Handball club, and numbers slowly increased.

Gaining experience

Without any local competition it’s hard for a new club to gain match experience, so another friendly was arranged with Plymouth. This time a full 60minute encounter. It was a great day for this team of newbies, starting the game slowly but ending with a flourish, and leaving players wanting more.

Pioneering Sandball

The development of Beach Handball is another major factor in the club’s rise. With the abundance of stunning beaches in Newquay, and the sport of Handball progressing nicely, it was a no-brainer to combine the two.
Beach Handball is a variation of the main sport; Sandball is to Handball what 20-20 Cricket is to Test Matches. A fast and fun game which rewards flamboyance, awarding double points for extravagant goals.
News of the sport spread far and wide, with magnificent media coverage, including an interview on Simon Mayo’s drive time Radio 2 show.
On the 2nd August 2014 Newquay will be hosting the second annual Sandball Day in conjunction with Watergate Bay Hotel. Another great day of fast and furious entertainment is guaranteed!

Joining the competitive league

With so many hurdles to jump in order to get the club ready for competition, NHC would have been forgiven for deciding not to take part in competitive Handball for a season, and focus on playing friendlies. But that is not how Newquay roll. They take the bull by the horns and drive forward, solving any issues as they arise.
And there were many issues. Where do they play? How to they fund themselves? Do they have enough players? Can they compete? Do they dare?
Handball is played on a 40m x 20m indoor court, something the UK – let alone Cornwall – is not well equipped with. With this lack of facilities in mind, England Handball allows teams to play on a minimum 33m x 18m sized court. This still limited Newquay’s choices, and ruled out a local home venue. After much to-ing and fro-ing, weighing up options like Carne Brae and Truro School’s new facility, they finally settled in Bodmin Dragon Centre.
On to the next obstacle: lines. Luckily Newquay winger Eddie Percy-Hughes came up with an ingenious contraption for applying Duct Tape in a curve for create the D’s.
Ideas for score charts, timers and displays came from Lee Springett and Kevin Welsh. Add to this willing officials Rowan Blewett and Hauke Moll, Devon Handball’s Aym Dupuy as an expert ref, and Newquay’s home set up was pretty slick.

Off to a flyer – almost

Newquay’s debut competitive game was away to Bath, last season’s champions. The new boys caught Bath by surprise, taking them all the way to 18-18 with one minute remaining. Only to loose by one last minute goal. With a more experienced players – and a better qualified referee – NHC would have been celebrating an unlikely victory.
Two defeats followed as Newquay baptism of fire continued against Bristol and Oxford respectively. Then came the visit of Cardiff to the Cornish Handball arena, Newquay produced their finest hour so far with a magnificent 24-13 victory.
This form continued into the return fixture with Bath, who were a much improved side at this point in the season. Newquay went down 30-39, but an excellent performance provided inspiration for the forthcoming Bristol encounter; which turned out to be a memorable day.
The culmination of a year of hard work, training, and dedication. NHC took Bristol, a team with a long history of league titles, right to the wire, earning a 20-20 draw away from home. This result turned heads throughout the country, and put Newquay on the Handball map.
Next up was an epic weekend of Handball as Southampton brought their huge squad down to Newquay for a double header. Southampton’s strength in depth proved too much as they came in victorious, with an 8 point margin in the first and a mere 3 point game in the second.
The final game of the season saw Newquay travel to Cardiff for their second clash. NHC once again came out on top, this time by an immense 36 points to 10. Apt reward for the players, the coach, the committee and officials. Everyone involved has played their part Newquay’s rise from nothing, to a nationally recognised and respected Handball team.

The future

The 2013/14 season is a magnificent building block for the future. With an under 16’s club, and young players coming through such as Ben Haddrell, the future is bright for Newquay – and Cornish Handball in general.

Exhibition match against English champions

Newquay are proud to announce that national league and cup champions, Salford HC are will be entertaining crowds the Bodmin Dragon Centre in an end-of-season exhibition match. Newquay’s players will be lining up against 2 Olympians, 7 GB/ENG internationals and 5 current U21 GB Squad members, plus an Olympic and current GB coach. It is a spectacle not to be missed.
The game will be on the 14th June, with under 16 Handball workshops to be held on the 15th. Both are to be held in Cornwall’s one and only Handball arena, The Bodmin Dragon Centre.

Cardiff 10 – 36 Newquay

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A magnificent inaugural season for Newquay was capped off with a stunning victory, giving them the double over an experienced Cardiff team.

The game was a fitting send off for NHC’s David Santos, who is moving away from the area for work. ‘D’ will be missed, not just for his unbelievable shooting ability – the Santos Boom – but because he’s a top guy too.

Newquay were quick to take an early lead in their pursuit of victory. A major factor in this successful first season is their solid defence, patrolled expertly by Tristan Mullar-Forster, who captained the side on the day.

NHC’s lead steadily grew throughout the first half, though the team felt they had more to give; their hard work on the training ground was not being fully translated to the match. Going in to the break 16- 4 up, the scene was set for Newquay to rack up a big score.

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The second period saw Newquay tighten up their passing, eliminating mistakes and playing quick ball to create space for each other. The result of this improvement: more goals. Every player, barring goalkeeper Geoff Muskett, has their name on the score sheet.

A 26 goal advantage for visiting Newquay is a remarkable representation of the teams progress in just one season. A great job by coach Jürgen Koenen, and a testament to the dedication from all the players.

Credit to Cardiff for hosting a good tempered and enjoyable final game. Newquay now look to June for a very exciting event – to be announced shortly, it’s going to be massive!

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Newquay squad:

Geoff Muskett
Jürgen Koenen
Adolf Botar
David Santos
Ben Haddrell
Kevin Welsh
Lee Springett
Tristan Mullar-Forster


Cardiff vs Newquay 13th April

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Newquay head to Cardiff for their last game of the season. After emphatically defeated their opponents on home turf  xx-xx, NHC will be looking for a similar result to cap off an impressive first season.

 


Newquay 24 – 32 Southampton

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If it were possible to erase the first 10 minutes of the game, Newquay would be celebrating a stunning one goal victory.

Sadly, the fact of the matter is that in the opening stages Newquay failed to get into the game at all. Southampton players enjoyed freedom to shoot almost unchallenged from close range. The visitors soon sailed to a 9-0 lead.

Newquay finally kicked into gear, their defensive lineup bolsered by the returning Tristan Mullar-Forster, and player-coach Jürgen Koenen. Newquay also welcomed Aym Dupuy to the game, Devon Handball‘s head honcho. Aym proved a thorn in the side of Southampton all game, firing in a hatfull of goals.

After this initial spell, the remainder of the first half was even, going into the break 8-16 in favour of Southampton. Momentum was beginning to swing in favour of the home side. The second period saw this energy grow, goals from Eddie Percy-Hughes, Kevin Welsh, Jon Hyatt and the growing presence of Adolf Botar took it to a 4 point game.

With 15 minutes remaining and Newquay in the ascendency, Koenen took a major fall under a strong challenge from a Southampton defender. This was the end of the game for Newquay’s talented coach, who had been masterminding the Newquay fightback.

After the stoppage Newquay were unable to find quite the same level of game, chances going astray and mistakes creeping in meant the game inched away. However,in the closing stages Dupuy provided the highlight of the match, spectacularly diving into the area, catching and finishing a cross-area pass from Hyatt. Pure class.

A defeat, but an encouraging performance – barring the first 10mins. The good news is, revenge could be just round the corner, with the return fixture on Sunday 22nd. The encounter throws off at 2.30pm at the Dragon Centre, Bodmin. Spectators welcome, fireworks guaranteed.


Oxford 35 – Newquay 13

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Circumstance was against Newquay as they embarked on their furthest away day of the season. Notable absentees included top scorer David Santos, defensive rock Tristan Muller-Forster, circle player Paul Beasley, right back Jon Hyatt, and inspirational player-coach Jürgen Koenen. Newquay drafted in former players Ben Preston, and Paul Iacco to fill the gaps in their squad.

League leaders Oxford were looking to inflict a crushing victory in their quest for the title and promotion. After 10mins they were on course, taking full advantage as the makeshift Newquay team bedded in. In what seemed like no time, Oxford sailed to a 10-1 lead. But Newquay gathered themselves together, lead on the day by Adolf Botar, who stepped up to the mark, leading by example and getting his team on the board.

As the first half progressed Newquay continued to claw their way into the game, good link up play between Botar and circle player Kevin Welsh was rewarded with goals. In tandem, Newquay’s defence improved, keeping the Oxford tally down to just 17 at the break. Eddie Percy-Hughes grabbed a signature fast break goal on the stroke of half time, taking advantage of a long pass from goalkeeper Geoff Muskett.

The Welsh and Botar partnership continued to be fruitful for Newquay in the second half. Plus goals from the highly promising Ben Hadrell, the always efficient Lee Springett, and the impressive Ben Preston in his competitive debut. Meanwhile the experienced Oxford outfit kept the score chart ticking along despite saves from Muskett. Heading into the last 3 minutes Newquay pushed forward looking for goals, but left gaps at the back which Oxford capitalised on. Newquay, however were able to get a goal back through Welsh, taking him past Koenen as the clubs second top scorer.

The final score is an improvement from their first encounter; with an inexperienced team playing away from home, this is something Newquay can be proud of. Other positives are the performance of Ben Haddrell, a young player is who is improving at a stratospheric rate, the leadership qualities of Adolf Botar, and the performance of team still learning the game.

Next up for Newquay is Southampton at home on the 22nd March. With senior players due to return to action this should be an epic encounter.


Bristol 20 – 20 Newquay. Match report

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In Newquay’s first encounter with Bristol, the leagues most decorated team ran out clear winners by 10 goals. That was three months ago, a long time in the life of a young team. This even-stevens result from the second confrontation is a measure Newquay’s rapid progress.

A magnificent first half from Newquay took the home side by surprise. Newquay soon siezed a two goal lead through David Santos, Newquay’s fire-power from 9 metres. Further goals from Lee Springett, Jürgen Koenen, and supreme fast break goals from Eddie Percy-Hughes kept the score chart ticking along nicely. Newquay were threatening from all over the field, from Ben Haddrell on the right wing, to back player Adolf Botar, to Kevin Welsh – bagging another handful of goals from the thick of the battle on the edge of the circle.

The home team are very strong, favouring an extremely physical style of play. This could have intimidated a lesser team, Newquay however, were able to adapt their style to match the physical threat from Bristol. The powerful defensive partnership of Tristan Mullar-Forster and Koenen took the sting out of Bristol’s shooting. Limiting their top player to long range efforts, which were dealt with expertly by goalkeeper Geoff Muksett, continuing his good form from the Bath game.

At points during the first half Newquay were three goals up. However with one or two missed chances from the away side, Bristol will feel happy to have gone into the break only one down, 10-11 and all to play for.

Bristol came out in the second period determined to avoid the embarrassment of being beaten by a town with a population of less than 20,000 as opposed to Bristol’s 500,000 or so. They soon gained the lead for the first time in the game, 14-13, before Newquay stepped up their performane once more to retake the advantage.

With the game entering the final minutes Newquay’s frustrations with the referee – Bristols own coach – were growing. Throughout the game the home team were allowed to get away with dirty foul play.

With the score at 20-20 and 30 seconds remaining, Newquay had one last attack and a chance to take a deserved victory. Bristol’s players had other plans as every player grabbed a Newquay body on and off the ball. All going unpunished, Bristol were able to turn over the ball, and in the dying seconds break toward the Newquay goal. A desperate defensive effort from Newquay saw an infringement from Koenen milliseconds before the final buzzer. Bristol had one shot to steal victory. Newquay’s tallest players formed a wall as Bristol lined up their top man for the shot. He fired in from above the jumping wall, only to see the ball saved by Muskett.

Even with the dissatisfaction with the referee, and the feeling that they didn’t get everything the performance deserved, Newquay can take heart from the proven progression they are showing. This result is another chapter in the incredible story of a small town team taking on the established giants of the sport. The future is bright.