Thursday, April 10, 2014

This Weekend: Handball Takes Over Auburn

Club handball player Thomas Barrett talks about the sport of handball.

It’s like basketball without the dribbling, or water polo without the water. 

That’s the best way to describe the sport of handball, a popular international sport that has recently made its home in Auburn, Ala. 

This weekend, Auburn will play host to handball teams from all over the country for College Nationals, a national handball tournament that will allow teams to compete not only against each other, but also for players to compete for a spot on the national USA Team Handball team. 
The Auburn-Opelika Tourism Bureau is co-hosting the event with the Auburn University Club Handball Team. 

Last year, Auburn University was chosen to host the residency program for USA Team Handball by the United States Olympic Committee. The national team (and hopeful Olympians) live and practice in Auburn, and USA Team Handball hosts open tryouts throughout the year for people to try for a spot on the national team. 

 But not everyone has to try to be an Olympian. 

Maurice Godwin, a doctoral student in the new School of Kinesiology, started Auburn’s club handball team this past year. A few members play on the USA National team, but most are normal students that liked the sport. 

“Hosting College Nationals in Auburn is an honor and a privilege, especially in our inaugural year as a club,” said Maurice. “The players and leadership of USA Team Handball have been an incredible support to our Auburn squad as we’ve made great strides in our first season. We’re looking forward to showcasing the talented athletes and fast-paced action that team handball has to offer to the Auburn and Opelika communities.” 

Representing Auburn will be a select team of local and USA Team handball players, and they will be competing in College Nationals against teams like The United States Air Force, Texas A&M University, West Point and the University of North Carolina. 

The event is free and open to the public, so if you’re interested in learning about a new sport or watching great athletes (and possible future Olympians!), come to Beard-Eaves Coliseum on Friday, April 11 or Saturday, April 13 to watch your Auburn Tigers play the best teams in the country. 

The schedule of teams is posted below.

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