Top German Handball Coach hosts training courses in Zimbabwe
Top German handball coach and International Handball Federation expert Helmut Martin completed a nine-day series of refresher courses on April 16 for local coaches and schoolteachers in Zimbabwe. Martin, who arrived in the Zimbabwean capital Harare on April 6, completed his first set of training sessions at Girls High School in the city. "Now I am in the sixth country and I have to say that this was the best course I have ever had. We had more than 140 participants,” Martin told reporters.
Enlarge image Women's handball (© picture alliance / PIXSELL) "They were very interested. They have all done the practical, the exercises and they were very engaged. It was a wonderful course and I think they have learnt a lot. The most important thing not only for teachers but also for clubs is that they need equipment. Otherwise, it will not be possible to play handball the right way,” said Martin.
The course is part of the International Handball Federation’s efforts to develop handball from school and community levels. Martin urged the participants to use the skills they learnt from the training course to identify and develop handball talent at schools and local communities. “It’s very important that they go and train the children, they must come up with competitions between schools then they can find the best schools and their best players and then they can build a national team,” he said.
“But it’s not enough. They need help in the next years from other handball instructors,” continued Martin.
Martin, a retired sports and geography teacher, has coached various men and women’s handball teams in Germany including Oberliga handballers DJK-VBRS Coesfeld and SC DJK Everswinkel. Previous assignments have taken him Armenia, Mongolia, the Faroe Islands, South Africa and Papua New Guinea. A participant at the Harare training course praised Martin for bringing together professional coaches and schoolteachers.
“One thing I liked about this course is that it has helped us to co-ordinate as club coaches and schoolteachers. Before this it was teachers and club coaches separately. But with the running of this course, I think we are going to work together in promoting handball from grassroots,” said Thembani Nkala who coaches local side Black Rhinos.
Enlarge image German players react during the Women's European Handball Championship (© picture alliance / dpa) The Zimbabwe Handball Federation, an affiliate of the International Handball Federation, elected a new executive in February this year which began organising national tournaments after nearly seven years without a major competition.
The Zimbabwe federation also aims to take handball to outlying parts of the country. Handball is popular in urban schools in Zimbabwe and rural schools lack the facilities to play the sport.
“We are looking at a situation where we will be able to spread and have handball played in schools. We will put together our national teams next year and make sure they are active. For this year we will run with activities in provinces,” said federation president Stewart Sanhewe.