Play Handball – Empowering Girls

Play Handball – Empowering Girls – Be inspired

In a nutshell

PLAY HANDBALL promotes handball as a new game in South Africa to empower the youth, especially girls, and create an open-minded society without cultural, gender and racial boundaries based on respect, mutual support and unity. Teaching life skills by experience, team sport and multi-cultural exchange, PLAY HANDBALL offers the youth a tool to empower themselves and grow up to become responsible members of our society.

What we do

PLAY HANDBALL promotes and establishes handball as a new game in South Africa, contributing to a more diverse and gender-inclusive sport environment and finally more possibilities for the youth to get their involvement in sport.

We use handball, which is a new sport in South Africa, as an engine to empower youth, especially young women, and cross racial boundaries. As handball has no history in the country and played equally by both genders over the world, it serves as an ideal setting within which to promote dialogue and empowerment. The sport also requires little equipment and is low cost, allowing it to be played everywhere.

We believe that our handball approach can positively contribute towards community uplifting. It promotes both cognitive motor skills (such as physical and mental health, coordination or improved concentration) and life skills (such as team spirit, discipline, responsibility and self-confidence).

As such, participating youth are less likely to become involved in criminal or violent activities, to join gangs, try drugs or engage in other anti-social behaviours.

How we do it

PLAY HANDBALL offers a handball tool-kit for other sports and development organisation to assist them implementing the sport within their programme framework. Working in co-operation with established local partners ensures that the activities are accessible and implemented where they are needed. The approach is based on three main pillars: 1. Participation: a) Volunteer-Programme to assist organisations and communities in establishing handball, b) Events and competition to create a vibe and connect youth of different culture, social background or race; 2. Support: a) Equipment donations to enable schools and organisations playing the sport, b) Bilateral partnerships & knowledge alliances to enable knowledge transfer, access to best practice approaches and ensure innovation and development of our programme; 3.Qualification: a) Workshops to educate local coaches, b) Training manuals to provide guidance and support for local coaches.

Handball is a dynamic, fast-moving team sport that incorporates elements of running, passing, throwing and team-tactics. Two teams playing against each other, trying to score goals with a handball. The team that scored the most goals during the playing time is the winner. Each team consists of 6 field players and one goal keeper. A game takes up to 2 x 30 minutes and an average of 50 goals per game are scored. The ball is half the size of a Soccer ball and is grabbed with one hand. The field is 20m x 40m and the goal is 3m wide x 2m high. Handball can be played indoors or outdoors.

In addition to promoting our approach, we enable cultural exchange, skill development and build awareness for our vision through our activities. We provide a platform for raising gender issues and promote gender equality; we support knowledge transfer, crossing cultural and social boundaries and are aware in all our efforts to make a long-term sustainable impact in social development.

What we have achieved

These are our good numbers (as of April 2015)

  • Number of handball coaching workshops: 4
  • Numbers of coaches trained: 69
  • Number of tournaments organised: 5
  • Number of children coached at tournaments: 357
  • Total communities reached: 16

Volunteer programme

  • Play Handball volunteers: 4 for a period of 3 to 6 month
  • Number of children (Grade 5-7) coached by volunteers: 2048
  • Schools participating in volunteer programme: 8
  • Communities reached by volunteer programme: 4

Workshops in partnership with the South African Handball Federation and German Olympic Sports Federation

  • Workshops hosted in partnership with SAHF & DOSB: 12
  • Number of coaches trained: 196
  • Number of children trained: 117

What we have learned

Some of the challenges we are facing in our work:

  • Handball is almost unknown in South Africa and to establish a “new” sport requires a holistic approach to ensure sustainability. This means also a lot of different skills and human power is needed. We overcome this by working patiently, consistently and faithfully on our approach to reach our vision. We are looking out to establish valuable partnerships with knowledge experts like universities and handball institutions.
  • Being a young organisation in the development sector, we experience difficulties of getting funding for our work. To solve this gap we started on creating results to gain credibility and also are looking for independently funding alternatives to be established in the near future.

General challenges of sports in SA to be considered in our approach:

  • No sports or physical education in most of the schools
  • No trained sport teachers
  • No proper facilities; mostly grass or ground
  • Huge classes of up to 50 children
  • No or limited sport equipment
  • Sport is still divided by races, social background and gender in South Africa

Opportunities handball offers:

  • You can play handball everywhere: indoors and outdoors
  • Requires less equipment: affordable everywhere and for everyone
  • Game for both genders: supports gender equality and female involvement
  • No racial history: encourages multi-cultural and –racial diversity
  • Combination of well-known South African sports mix of rugby, netball or soccer: helps simplify the implementation process

Map point

Play Handball – Empowering Girls
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