* Please note – The article below was released prior to South Sefton Development Trust changing its name to Regenerus
A new Merseyside social enterprise is offering a helping hand to local schools who wish to provide more opportunities for their pupils to play handball.
The Community Sports Factory, set up by LJMU graduate Andy Clark, has secured funding to provide coaching sessions in this up-and-coming Olympic sport to schools and colleges across the area.
The grant has come from the Lottery-funded London 2012 legacy project, Sportivate,with the new business also receiving advice from social enterprise support specialists, South Sefton Development Trust.
Andy Clark is well placed to head up the new project. Endorsed by the English Handball Association, he has seven years’ experience of teaching sport in schools and can offer five different qualification levels to students and teachers.
As he explained, the aim of the initiative is to widen the appeal of handball by getting new players involved and training new coaches.
He said: “The great thing about handball is that it requires little equipment. It can be played in any sized space and is easy to set up.
“This makes it an ideal sport for youth groups, as it can even be played as a street sport or on a beach. It’s also much less gender specific than football or netball.
“As a team sport, it also helps players to develop social, team building and planning skills, all within the context of keeping fit and having fun,” added Andy.
The Community Sports Factory is now inviting more schools to get involved with the initiative by booking handball sessions, either as part of the curriculum or as an enrichment activity.
Cate Murphy, Chief Executive with South Sefton Development Trust, commented: “We are delighted to be able to support new sports-focused businesses like this which are bringing new activities into schools and youth groups in our area.
“Encouraging greater participation in sport will improve the health of those involved, and have a long-term positive impact on our local communities.”
* For more information about booking handball sessions contact Andy Clark on 07507 563642 or visit www.communitysportsfactory.org.