10th June 2019

Chair's Announcement

Dear Members,  

The National Cup Finals at the impressive Derby Arena was the setting for the May board meeting. The board looked forward to a strategy discussion on training courses, reviewing membership benefits and fees and to making progress in the priority items of Governance, Safeguarding, Stakeholder Engagement and Data Metrics.   

Strategy Discussion On Training Courses Arising from budget discussions in January Miriam Beales, Workforce Development Manager attended to take part in a strategy discussion on training courses. Questions had been raised on the costs associated with courses and the board are keen to understand the course offer, level of demand, workforce skills requirements and the challenges and opportunities of face-to-face and online delivery.  

Miriam outlined the developments of the last two years which have included the introduction of online booking, digital member management, creation of E-resources, E-learning facilitation and most recently the initiative to support officials. A new tutor workforce is being supported and their recruitment is helping with reducing course delivery costs and facilitating delivery in some regions. Miriam provided insight into the administrative workload and challenges which accompany digital registration, management and delivery.  

The importance of having a coaching philosophy was agreed as the multiple benefits and impact of courses was highlighted. Comparison with European qualifications were analysed and RINCK membership requirements acknowledged. Pricing strategy and effects on individuals, schools and clubs was touched upon. The Board mobilised a sub-group to develop the coaching philosophy, look further into administration, tutor workforce development, pricing strategy and digital development.  

Membership Benefits and Fees The board received a proposal to review the membership fee structure prior to the meeting and were keen to understand the risks, benefits and full implications of the proposal. Presenting the proposition the CEO highlighted improved registration administration, increased diversity of competition and more frequent communication with members as areas of progress over six years with no accompanying fee increases.  

The board were keen to understand the true costs of playing Handball for a club member. A discussion on club membership fees, training fees, venue hire, kit, travel and other costs ensued and directors who are members of clubs provided insight. The board noted the direction of travel towards individual memberships and approved an increase which keeps the cost for a registered club team member with entry to all available competitions as low as possible.   

Governance The board discussed the re-drafted Terms of Reference for the Audit and Governance Committee. The skills required, committee members and detail of role were considered further and the board agreed to move the terms from draft to final.   

Safeguarding The CEO confirmed the safeguarding case management group are working on cases through the agreed procedure. Work to implement the new safeguarding standard is continuing with support from the Child Protection in Sport Unit.  

Stakeholder Engagement Stacey Andrews, National Partnerships Manager presented a detailed outline of the Handball Conference Programme. Each event during the conference was discussed with a focus on delivering value to individuals and clubs. Improvements to the sign up documentation were agreed to help better understand the requirements of clubs for the conference. It was highlighted that the conference is a valuable opportunity to receive feedback from the clubs and feedback gathering methods have been built into the programme.  

Data Metrics

  • 1730 teams from 750 schools have taken part in this year’s National Schools Competition – an increase of 250 teams and 150 schools from last year.  This equates to 22% of secondary schools in England.
  • Exceeded Yr 2 target for registered players “2736 over 2680.” Registered teams target for the season also exceeded “156 over 131.”
  • Increased the percentage of registered female players to 42% from 39% in 2017/18  

CEO Report

Coaching & Workforce

  • Work currently being undertaken to move more of the theoretical content of coaching courses over to the E-learning platform to make them easier and more cost effective for learners to access.
  • New workforce contracts have been issued to all external members of the team to ensure that they are aware of the contractual requirements of being a part of the tutor team.


  • Team is currently supporting seven clubs from across the country to achieve Pro-Active Club status.
  • All regional schools finals delivered ahead of the National Finals in June. First time that all eight regions will have representatives at the main finals in each age and gender category.


  • New Talent Pathway handbook now in operation which outlines all relevant information, policies and procedures for players and their parents to support their involvement with the programme.
  • A new mentoring programme for the Regional Academy coaches was launched on 24th April supported by the Magic Academy.

Marketing & Communications

  • Signed contract to live stream the National Cup Finals on BBC Sport for the second year running.
  • Issued press releases, increased social media activity and arranged interviews related to the Cup Finals to support ticket sales which exceeded last year’s figures with around 700 people attending each day.


  • The Safeguarding Disciplinary and Case Management Groups are now meeting on a regular once a month basis to review progress on current cases and also to ensure policies and procedures remain up-to-date.
  • Club dip tests, carried out by the Partnerships Team, continue across the country to assess any issues and needs of clubs regarding safeguarding – actions plans to be put in place following these visits to support clubs with any items that need addressing.

Competitions & Events

  • All leagues completed for the season at National, Regional and Junior levels – these include all relevant play-offs and finals with just the National Schools Finals to be delivered on 15th/16th June in Derby.
  • Proposals for potential new league structures that could be put in place for the 2020/21 season have been sent out to all clubs for consultation and feedback.

I assure you of the board’s continued commitment to openness and transparency, finding solutions to issues raised and improving service to members. Thank you to the CEO and staff team for their endeavour, diligence and the progress achieved in delivering the strategy. I commend the minutes of the May board meeting to you which will be available shortly on the England Handball website.    Thank you for your enthusiasm, dedication and support for Handball.

I look forward to meeting you at the Handball Conference and AGM on 22nd June at Loughborough College, and to receiving any feedback you wish to send via: feedback@englandhandball.com  

Thank you for your support.  

Tracy Watkinson

Posted in Clubs, England Handball Association, Handball Conference