NZHF’s first combined junior/youth tournament was held last weekend with regional teams from throughout New Zealand and a women’s team from Australia competing. There were some amazing handball skills on display which means the future is looking very promising for NZ Handball! A highlight of the tournament was the significant growth in handball in the South Island with teams from Canterbury and Otago regions showing fantastic development. However, it was the Wellington Region that came out on top, with both their top teams winning the men’s and women’s championships.
This tournament is so important for the development of Handball in New Zealand and it was great to see the investment NZHF has been making in youth development paying off and New Zealand finally having enough teams to hold a tournament for this age group. NZ Head of Coaching and Referees, Dr Eoin Murray, also found time to run mentoring sessions for referees at the tournament, despite coaching two teams.
Massive thanks to all the participants, coaches, managers, referees, volunteers, families and supporters for making our inaugural U19 tournament a success. It was great to have participation from the Australian young women - thanks for coming over!
A special thanks goes to our tournament director - Frank Stoltenberg - amazing effort, not only with the tournament organisation but also with the social functions that followed.
Thanks too go out to all our NZHF volunteers, and representatives of our Senior Men’s and Women’s teams who were present to support the young players. It was great to see our handball community respond to the call for help and see all working together to support development of NZ Handball.