24th June 2019
Students at Ashfield School, Nottingham, have taken to handball with enthusiasm after Head of PE Kris Lockhart became hooked on the game.
National School Sport week highlights the power of sport in mental health and wellbeing and Lockhart says that handball has been a fantastic addition to the sport on offer at Ashfield.
He first came across the game at a teaching networking event. “I really enjoyed the game, and went and watched some of it on YouTube because I was interested to know more. I did some research on the rules, wrote a scheme of work and started to teach students in my year 10 boys P.E. class. They loved it.”
He says that handball has blended in well with the other sports on offer because it trains so many basic physical literacy skills.
“It uses the fundamental movement skills well and the tactics and knowledge from other sports can be used to outwit the opposition. It is also something different to what was traditionally offered so students tend to be keen to learn it and the fast paced nature excites and engages learners.”
Handball is also a sport that lends itself to transference from other sports. “As it is a relatively new sport to the students that we teach, that level playing field enables you to teach students from scratch and usually they want to be good at it so are more fully engaged. Other sports, some students already think they know it all so these can be more difficult to teach. It is also a sport that lends itself well to having mixed sessions particularly at younger age groups as the transferable skills from Netball sometimes put the girls at a big advantage.”
Lockhart says he has signposted talented young players to Nottingham Handball Club. As a result they have two players from Ashfield who are on the pathway for England selection. These players act as mentors to younger handball players within Ashfield.
“Using talented players within my own school I have got them coaching the younger players and having these role models has inspired the younger students to try and follow in their footsteps.”