20th May 2021
In the latest edition of our Staff Spotlight series, we get to know our National Competitions and Events Manager, John Pearce!
How did you get involved in handball?
Whilst at university, I put myself forward into the Handball Talent Identification program led by UKSport and British Handball in 2007 having seen an advertisement on a notice board. The program was designed to create to teams for the London 2012 Olympic games.
Tell us a bit about your role at England Handball?
I lead the competitions and events program for England Handball ranging from Youth u14s through to Seniors which incorporates all the league scheduling as well as our major events program such as BUCS Handball Championships, National Cup and School Finals.
What’s something you enjoy doing outside of work?
Well because I am mad about Handball, I actually spend a lot of my time doing even more Handball running a local community club. When I returned from the Olympics in 2012 I was offered a grant by Poole Council to start a community club and from that Poole Handball was born. Miss Roberts came in a year or so later and took it to new heights and Poole Phoenix Handball was born.
What’s your favourite handball memory from your career so far?
Probably seeing kids in the new u14 and u16 leagues playing and getting to grips with the game. The National schools finals are always a highlight as well.
What job did you want to do when you were younger?
I wanted to be a sports shoe designer, so like a lot of people I like a good pair kicks. Mainly sports orientated. Considering I coach handball more than I play I still have far to many handball shoes.
In your opinion what is the best thing about handball?
Probably the ease at which it is possible for people to get success in the game when introducing it new people. The game really does encompass everything you could want from a sport. Speed, agility power, decision making. It is physical but won’t leave you battered like rugby. For youth sport it incorporates all the key movement skills running, hoping, jumping, skipping throwing, catching. The game has a great flow to it and avoids a lot of stop start you get in other sports, and scoring is easier
Where’s your favourite place in the world?
Home, no place like it. Although some say home is where you hang your hat. The south coast is a pretty spectacular place.
Where would you like to see Handball in England in the next 5 years?
I would like to see the university game increasing with more tournaments and its own league. Along with the u14 and u16 competitions having a greater regional diversity. Also to be able to constantly live stream more games.
And finally, if you had one piece of advice for someone starting out in handball, what would it be?
Enjoy it, don’t get to caught up to much in results/performance stick to playing the game for enjoyment friends/family and community and let the rest flow from there.