25th March 2021
In our first ever Staff Spotlight we catch up with Bobby White, our National Performance Manager and ex-professional handball player to find out a bit more about him and his role at England Handball.
How did you get involved in handball?
I studied Sport & Exercise Science at University, and I’m actually studying for a Masters in Sport Coaching at the moment too, so sport has always been a big part of my life. My playing career really started when I was recruited from UK Sport’s Sporting Giants Talent Identification programme in 2007. I was invited to train in the Great Britain world class programme, based in Denmark and then went on to play handball professionally in France and Greece. I made over 50 appearances for Team GB and captained the side at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Tell us a bit about your role at England Handball?
I joined England Handball in 2012, after the Olympics as an athlete mentor in the talent pathway and since then have undertaken a few different roles within the organisation – one such involved managing the Advanced Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence programme and I was also a Lead Coach Educator. Currently I am responsible for creating and enhancing handball and personal-development opportunities for players who show the capability to progress into The Great Britain Youth age-group Squads.
What’s something you enjoy doing outside of work?
Goalkeeping is my passion and I coach youth Goalkeepers at Nottingham Forest Football Academy in my spare time.
What’s your favourite handball memory from your career so far?
Our last second victory against Bulgaria in 2010 at Crystal Palace. We were losing by 6 with about 15 minutes left and managed an incredible come back. A lot of my friends and family were there to see it.
What job did you want to do when you were younger?
I always wanted to work in sport in some capacity, if not as a professional player then as a coach. If sport wasn’t an option, I think I’d like to have been a chef.
In your opinion what is the best thing about handball?
The intensity and the end-to-end nature of the game. As a Goalkeeper you are a big part of the team as you’re always involved.
Where’s your favourite place in the world?
Any warm, sandy beach with my son.
Where would you like to see Handball in England in the next 5 years?
The sport has a lot of room to grow. I think the school’s competitions have built an amazing platform for children to experience the game and I think this is the area that has the most potential to develop in that timeframe. I’d like to see a more comprehensive schools’ tournament, with more rounds and more education for the teachers to support the players.
And finally, if you had one piece of advice for someone starting out in handball, what would it be?
Watch and learn from the best. Getting to know the elite players from around the world via YouTube or EHFTV.com, use them as role models and appreciate how wonderful the game is at the highest level.