Saturday in Stellenbosch, Idas Valley, you can hear excited voices in the near distance, loud music and now and then the sound of a whistle. If one expects to see now netball or soccer, one will be surprised: The first ever PLAY HANDBALL Junior Cup took place on Saturday, the 24th February 2018 from 9am to 4pm in Stellenbosch. The Bruckner de Villiers Primary School hosted the event on their netball sportsground. The handball youth tournament for U14 Mix teams was organized by the volunteer Carolin Held and the Play Handball ZA-coordinator in the community, Adri Katts, in conjunction with the community of Idas Valley.

Caroline Held is a German volunteer that came with the organization PLAY HANBDALL ZA (www.play-handball.org) to South Africa to assist the schools and the community of Idas Valley with the development of the team sport handball. She supports the Bruckner de Villiers Primary School in physical education five times a week and as well organizes afterschool programmes for the community. Caro’s aim is beside the development of handball to use the sport to support social cohesion and inclusion. At the first ever PLAY HANDBALL Junior Cup in the area of Stellenbosch ten teams from different backgrounds and communities joined on the handball field. At ten o’clock two teams from Lavender Hill and Idas Valley, one from the German School Cape Town, Franschhoek Valley Community Sports Centre, Kayamandi, Mannenberg, Ottery and Delft where on the court, or better, on pavement-Netball-fields, which were a good substitute.

The mix teams, consisting of girls and boys, contest the first group matches until lunch break. Very surprised by some of the teams, one could see that everything was possible in this tournament. At the end of the preliminary round, the ranking was determined within the three groups and everybody was preparing for the final round. While that, the interim rain was more blessing then interfering the good mood. As refreshment everyone got a packed lunch and music to keep their legs warm. Not all of the teams were keen to have a break and instead a few friendlies were held in the fields. Many people from the Idas Valley community joined in the games and became more curious about its rules over the day.

Last strength and double ambition brought everyone even more pleasure in watching in the final rounds. Especially when the community derby, Idas Valley Primary vs. Bruckner de Villiers Primary, started, which the first team won. In the final games; Mannenberg loses in a thrilling game while throwing penalty against Ottery and Franschhoek wins against the Makapula Highschool Kayamandi and thus wins the tournament. At the end of the day, we look in tired faces, not unknown anymore, tired but satisfied. Goal achieved.

For Caro it was an exciting, demanding and successful day and not only about the sport: “It was important for me to get the community more connected to handball and through all the helping hands I had, I realized, that they definitely stand behind all this! Handball is a team sport“.

Become a voluntary handball coach abroad and help! Get more information: http://play-handball.org/en/volunteer/ or just send an email to info@play-handball.org.

Text: Carolin Held

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