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High Olympic hopes and handball…

Healthy’s Orouj headed down to the 2012 Olympic park to discover the (not so) gentle game of handball

What a day! While preparing a morning battling with my email inbox at the office, I was unexpectedly invited to the Olympic park in London to watch GB battling it out with Austria in a game of handball.

For those desperate to see the new park, you’ve got lots to look forward to. There’s some stunning architecture in the making, much of it already completed, and a number of cutting-edge sports facilities. All of which will pave the way for up and coming sports stars, and hopefully, create future Trojan athletes. Now that I’ve seen the park coming into fruition, I’m sure it’s going to rejuvenate the UK sport industry too. Yes, you heard it here people, London 2012 will go down in sporting history!

Asides from ogling at the glittering new stadium and feeling a touch over patriotic and teary-eyed, I watched a women’s handball test match between Austria and Great Britain. If you’re a newbie to handball, much like I was before cosying into my seat at the game, here’s a condensed summary:

In layman’s terms, it’s a cross between football and netball. Players are allowed to to touch the ball anywhere on their bodies above, and including, the knee. When a player has the ball, they need to pass within three seconds of possession and dribbling, catching and kicking is all allowed. When it comes to tackling, body contact is acceptable and so is, er, pushing. That’s right, just as long as it isn’t at full arm’s length. So think Dodgeball with catching, pushing, and mini football goal posts. But the best bit about handball is the fast-paced action and matches packed with drama – exactly the reason why I’m adding it to my growing list of ‘sports to watch’ next summer.

Oh, and if you’re wondering, team GB didn’t take the winner’s spot (boo, hiss), but worry not, they have plenty of time to brush up on their handy skills for 2012. So let’s keep our fingers crossed.

The event was part of the London Prepares series and helps in the London 2012 Organising Committee, for more info about London Prepares, go to


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