With the West Yorkshire School Games Winter Festival coming up at Leeds Beckett University, we’re showcasing the University’s handball club as our next Club in the Spotlight.
Both the men’s and women’s teams at Leeds Carnegie Handball Club competed in The Handball University Championships Finals this weekend in Gillingham.
And the men’s side ran out as winners in the plate finals, inspired by captain Demarny Lawerence, who was voted MVP as they defeated Bournemouth University in the final. The women’s side were beaten on penalties by the University of Liverpool at the quarter-finals stage of the cup finals.
Despite being a University team, members do not have to go to Leeds Beckett University to sign up to play for the club.
After their big weekend, we spoke to the club’s Chairwoman, Kate Martin, to tell us a little bit more about the University handball club.
What is the best thing about your club?
The best thing about our club is the team spirit we have. It is undeniable that we love each other. We are much more than a handball club. We love playing the sport and producing results just as much as we love hanging out with each other when we aren’t playing.
What are you most proud of at your club?
Last year during the University Championships both teams went out in the quarter-finals. That was the last game for many of our players as they were in their third year. Although we lost we came together as a club and a family in a big huddle and gave them a proper send off. We were the loudest club at the competition and the most proud to be there and that showed.
What type of person gets involved with your club?
We welcome everyone to our club. We predominantly have university students but you don’t have to be at university to join. We have players ranging from beginners to those who have and currently do play for GB and England.
How do new members get involved?
Members mostly get involved at the start of the University year during fresher’s fair, but they are welcome to join at any point throughout the year by emailing us and coming down to our sessions. The email can be found on the Leeds Beckett sport and active lifestyle website.
If there is one thing that you hope your members take from being a part of your club, what would it be?
Enjoyment. Our club is not all about winning, we look to include anybody in our club and we value the social side of being in a club as much as the winning side. If people go away from training and matches with a smile on their face then we have achieved our aim.
Why is your club important to you?
This club means a lot to me. I moved to Leeds last year to start University and if it wasn’t for this club I would have quit and moved back to London. Without this club I would never have had some of the best moments of my life. Being surrounded by people who look after me and help with my problems makes me feel as though I am a part of something truly remarkable. Last year when I was chosen to take over as Chairwoman it was a privilege as it meant I could help change someone else’s experiences and be a positive influence on their life.
If you want your club to be featured as one of our Clubs in the Spotlight, click here to fill out our club feature survey.