by Jonathan Hamelin, Sports Editor
According to Steve Schneider, handball is truly an amazing sport.
“It’s the kind of sport that even if you’ve never played it before, you fall in love with it when you do,” he said. “It’s a team sport and it develops a lot of character, leadership, and discipline. Basically it’s a great sport to get into if you just want to be in shape.”
With the University of Regina Team Handball Club starting up this year, all students have a chance to enjoy the sport as well.
“Our goal is just to promote the sport throughout the school,” Schneider, the program coordinator, explained. “It’s not a very well known sport in North America. It’s made for North American athletes.”
In handball, which is usually played indoors, teams move the ball down the court by throwing it to one another and they attempt to throw it in the other team’s net. When a player gets the ball, they can take up to three steps without dribbling. After that, they can only hold the ball for three seconds before dribbling, passing, or shooting. Each team plays with six outfielders and one goalkeeper on the court.
The original handball club at the U of R was the Luther College Handball Club. However, the name was changed over the summer because of lack of support. The team’s coach, Raquel Marinho, used to play on the Brazilian women’s national handball team. She also does work with the Saskatchewan provincial teams.
The team will be playing around two games a week in the Prairie Handball Circuit, which consists of other teams in Saskatchewan. In tournaments, they will compete against other university clubs. One such tournament, taking place in Regina this February, will see university clubs from all over the world come to the Queen City.
Unfortunately for women, the team is only for men. While Schneider notes there was some interest in forming a women’s team, this has not happened yet. Sask. Handball does have plans to form a women’s team eventually. However, women are still welcome to come out to every practice. There are around two practices a week. Also, any men who want to try out the sport but not necessarily join the team, are welcome to come to practice as well.
As Schneider says, “the more the merrier.” With enough interest, he said, an intramural league could be started.
Joining the handball team provides one with a great opportunity to meet new people.
“It’s a very friendly atmosphere and ethnically diverse,” Schneider says. “Our club has people from all over the world. We have some kids that are from Nigeria, Afghanistan, parts of Europe and all over Canada.”
Though the handball team is funded through different sponsors and Sask. Handball, it is not free to join. To join the club, it will cost individuals around $150. However, Schneider notes there will be plenty of opportunities to fundraise.
“We do understand that a lot of people are on student loans and not everybody has the chance to get a job,” he explained.
For more information on the U of R team handball club, visit their website at http://uofrhandball.webs.com or search for “University of Regina Team Handball Club” on Facebook. For more information on practice times, phone Schneider at 730-8535 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.