Five talented Knole Academy students began playing handball less than five years ago, after being introduced to the sport in Year 7. After the popularity and success of the school team, a Sevenoaks Handball Club was set up by Nadhmi, the school’s handball coach. This club enabled the girls to take part in more competitions and the time and opportunity to develop and refine their skills.
A year later, after successfully winning the Kent league, the girls were selected to attend trials for the South East Regional Team, along with other girls from their school team. Six students in total were selected and the girls began competing and training at the England Handball National training centre at Stoke Mandeville.
The girls were now beginning their journey on the England pathway and really beginning to find a true love for the sport. Soon, they wanted to train more frequently with the potential of representing their country; something the girls had had their eyes on for a long time. Five of the girls went to train for Medway Falcons and one trained in Essex.
After making great impressions at their clubs, and due to their dedication, commitment, resilience and as a consequence of the expert coaching they had received, five of the girls; Lucy, Tori, Isla, Syrine and Daiz’a, proceeded to have a variety of different trials over the following year.
Last summer, Dazi’a and Tori were initially selected to represent the U17 England team in the Generation Handball tournament in Denmark. Unfortunately, Tori was unable to attend after an emergency operation forced her to miss out, leaving her distraught at missing out on such an incredible opportunity. Daiz’a flew to Denmark with the rest of the team and had an incredible experience, one she will never forget.
In November 2019, the five girls were selected for GB trials and had to endure a full day of gruelling drills and competitions. In December, after an intense selection process, Lucy, Tori, Isla and Syrine were all selected for the U18 GB Handball team – an unbelievable achievement. After a series of training camps, Lucy was later selected to travel with the GB squad, to compete in Madeira over the summer. Unfortunately, the competition was cancelled due to the Covid pandemic, but is likely to be rescheduled in the near future – a real disappointment for Lucy who, after her intense training and competition, was looking forward to this incredible opportunity.
The girls were due to attend more training camps over the Summer, but these will now look to be rescheduled. Make sure you keep your eyes out for these handball superstars!