After winning for the fourth consecutive time at West Point Invitational, New York City Team Handball club and it's members returned back to it's core mission of promoting the Olympic sport of team handball to all the people in New York and visited the elementary school PS 33 Chelsea Prep for a handball demonstration to 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students. In collaboration with Jeff Barna, the physical education teacher at PS 33 we were able to continue our partnership in bringing team handball to the public schools in NYC.
Team handball develops the basic athletic skills used in all other sports and it’s easily modified to fit any space, time and number of participants. It can be played be people of all sizes, ages and genders. And comparing to other sports it is easy fairly to learn and a great way to get in shape.
It's always a unique experience when presenting a new game to young kids, but this particular day was very special as the students of PS 33 had done research before the clinic and were aware of many rules of the game. Fourth graders knew about the 6 meter line and that you are not supposed to enter it. We decided to call it the alligator ally, which made the game more fun and the kids made sure not to enter that ally as the alligators were not friendly. Among those 90 students there was pure raw talent with great potential to becoming future stars.
"It's truly a pleasure to watch these kids try a new sport by putting so much effort and enthusiasm. Some of these kids have so much talent and they sure don’t lack passion, and desire to learn. All they lack is the opportunity to play, and watch team handball in consistent basis", said Shkumbin Mustafa of New York City Team Handball Club.
In the last couple of years New York City Team Handball Club promoted team handball to different schools, but due to lack of resources it has been difficult for the schools to continue with their programs.
"Due to budget and funding cuts there is no Team Handball after-school club anymore. However I still keep team handball alive in physical education classes. I am happy and grateful for New York City Team Handball Club coming over and running another clinic and showcase some skills, drills, and play games. The kids love it, and are always excited when we play the game", said Jeff Barna the physical education teacher at PS 33.
Team Handball is played on a court, a field, or the beach. Kids love the game because it's a fast-paced strenuous sport. As the name implies, hands are instrumental in the execution of the game, however running, throwing and catching are the fundamental skills involved.
"We are going to continue doing everything we can to keep working with all of the schools in New York and continue introducing team handball. It's been hard because of the lack of resources, but we will push through hard times, and I hope with time we can find true partners that enjoy helping and giving these children an opportunity in learning one of the most exciting team sports in the planet", concluded Shkumbin Mustafa.
Until then New York City Team Handball Club will continue with it's efforts in creating awareness of this inexpensive sport which promotes team work, co-operation and friendships with hope that more schools will integrate it in their after-school programs.