Great Britain Under 18 Handball team headed off to Portugal during half term to participate in The Handleca Cup in preparation for the European qualifiers in Bulgaria later this summer.
Strode College Sports student, Joe Nelson from Walton was part of the 14 strong squad who travelled to Porto to play against far more experienced teams like Benfica which was to be tough test of the young team’s progression and development. The team finished 3rd in their group and fifth overall in the tournament which shows great improvement throughout the squad and gained Nelson his 3rd GB cap.
Handball is introduced at primary school in Europe and is as popular as football is here in the UK. However, handball clubs across the South West are thriving with Somerset Spartans based at Crispin Academy and teams in Bristol, Stroud, Devon and Dorset. More schools are now introducing after school clubs and playing this exciting team game creating a progression pathway that Joe is following via British Handball.
Joe trains at Strode College and travels to Stroud Handball Club for weekly training, regional games as well as monthly elite training camps with Great Britain at Stoke Mandeville in Buckinghamshire.
He is now focussing on selection for another GB cap in June and ultimately participation in the European qualification tournament in Bulgaria. Nelson has recently accepted an offer from a specialist sports academy in Denmark where he will be coached by professional coaches and play for a local top league Danish handball team which is a fantastic opportunity for him to develop his skills and experience handball at the highest level.