The Chichester Vulcans are Chichester’s very own handball club and are offering junior sessions, starting this month!
The Vulcans, named after the Roman God of Fire as a nod to Chichester’s rich Roman past, started playing in 2018 when head coach James Chadburn founded the club. James’ background is full of coaching experience and qualifications, having taught in schools and even coached the handball team at the University of Chichester.
If you, like me, know little about handball because of its exclusion from the school curriculum, here is a brief rundown of what a game of handball entails. “Handball revolves around a fast paced attack,” explains James, “and safe contact that aims to slow the attacker’s momentum.” Tackling in handball is far safer than other sports such as rugby – James says it is like giving the attacker a hug!
Each team has seven players – six field players and one goalkeeper. The aim is to throw the ball into the other team’s goal and, unsurprisingly, the team with the most goals wins. There’s also a surprising amount of jumping, as attackers have to avoid the goal curve by jumping into it and scoring before hitting the ground.
With all the running along the 40-meter court, combined with throwing and jumping, handball is a fitness cocktail of strength, flexibility, cardio and stamina. Of course, if players are to run, jump and throw without any aches and pains, handball training must focus on improving these three key areas, and of course James designs the training sessions perfectly.
The Vulcans work a lot on creating a strong foundations (in their legs) for jumping not only high and far, but also safely, avoiding strained muscles. James also takes great care to help players improve their throwing technique, which is a flexible movement which doesn’t just rely on strength but on efficient rotation in the shoulder and upper body. Handball really is a sport that improves and balances three key areas of the health and fitness of its players.
If handball sounds like something you want to try – you can! 2022 brings the very first Junior handball training to Chichester. The sessions will run every Thursday between 6 and 7:30 pm for boys and girls aged 11-14 at Warblington Primary School, between Emsworth and Havant. No experience is necessary as James and the other qualified coaches are “ready to inspire, teach and encourage everyone.”
What’s more, the first two sessions are free, and James hopes to engage children and tailor sessions according to the abilities of the Junior players. James hopes that the Junior sessions will eventually lead to friendly games with other Junior teams, and even league tournaments in the U14 League come September, for children who show a real interest in competing.
The Junior sessions will offer children the opportunity to train, play friendly matches or even compete, depending on how far each child wants to take their handball career.
“The key thing about the Club,” says James, “is our diverse community.” With players from France, England, Hong Kong and Latvia to name a few, The Vulcans take pride in their friendly team filled with friends from all over. James explains that what sets the Chichester Vulcans aside from other handball clubs is the friendly, rather than intimidating, atmosphere at training. The Vulcans follow simple policies around inclusivity, enjoyment, and communication, which James thoughtfully wrote himself when he founded the Club.
And even mum and dad can get involved too, as the Vulcans rightfully boast both men and women’s teams! The adult teams offer league, cup and friendly fixtures all year round, so whatever you’re looking for, the club has it! As their name suggests, the Vulcans are on fire on the handball court, having come out top of the South East Regional League last season and this season defeating the Chelsea Seconds, despite setbacks due to the pandemic. But this has not dampened the Vulcans’ determination to be red hot on the court next season.
If you or your child are interested in joining the Vulcans, drop them an email on chichester_vulcans@ outlook.com. James will be more than happy to talk you through the teams, training, and the game itself!
All the photos in this story are © McGuffin Media.