We caught up with Urban Handball in Bexley to hear about their experience during their time on the ClubWorks programme
What is Urban Handball and what are your key goals?
The main objective of Urban Handball is to activate handball for women and girls. (The emphasis of our activities is on youth engagement and where appropriate we therefore also support sessions for boys.) Our satellite club sessions are based in schools and we work with PE staff to develop teams for inter-school competitions. At the same time we participate in EHA competitions, fielding teams that contain a mix of players from different schools.
We work to target inactive people through a fun and social interaction that emphasises the development of friendship groups while at the same time enabling competition for those who want it, including access to EHA’s talent pathway.
How and why did you start working with the ClubWorks programme?
With limited capacity to support our growing activities, our governing body encouraged us to apply for the ClubWorks programme. Although already receiving valuable support from our satellite club officer, we applied to the programme in order to spread the load and develop a relationship with a dedicated mentor.
Our hope and expectation was that we would be able to access advice and information on a range of issues from governance to funding, through the workshops and meeting others doing the same kind of thing as ourselves.
📸Bexley Urban Handball
How has working with ClubWorks helped you to develop?
The main benefit of working with ClubWorks has been the development of confidence in what we are doing. We feel less ‘alone’ in making decisions and that we have someone to lean on if needed. For example, one of our sessions became oversubscribed, which is a good thing, but had address it.
In the past we would have been doing that on our own but now are in a position to seek advice and information on how to deal with this situation. Attending workshops has helped to develop our knowledge base and we are much more able to respond to the challenges we face in our activation work.
What have been your biggest achievements in the time that you’ve been on the ClubWorks programme?
Implementing basic structures of governance and being able to put the club’s activities on a more secure footing when dealing with parents, in particular, but also schools and borough SDO’s. This has enabled us to take an under 15 team to an EHA tournament independently, an activity that would have been difficult and risky prior to putting the related procedures in place.
What does the future hold for your club/organisation?
We are still working to establish a hub club session and this is something we are continuing to do over the next six months. We would like to have more people working on our project, something we are working on with the development of a couple of young coaches and a junior referee.