Participation, Leadership and Performance

Following discussions with BUCS, the BSKA executive are in the process of drafting a new 3-5 year plan. Exec Chairman Rob Bloomer gives you an introduction to the plan…

Student Korfball gets stronger every year. At this years AGM we heard that student korfball was flourishing, but that this was in spite of the BSKA, rather than because of it. This years executive think that neither should be directly the case. The BSKA should exist to effectively support the great work of University clubs and dedicated volunteers across the country.

To this end we have begun drafting a new plan for the future of British Student Korfball. The plan will be expressly designed to deliver tangible positives to student korfball. We will focus on three initiatives in particular; Participation, Leadership and Performance.

Participation

This year we will have 22 student clubs participating in BUCS regional qualifiers. There are also a number of startup clubs that won’t make it this year. In the short term our goal is to reach the next BUCS accreditation marker of 30+ university clubs playing competitve BUCS Korfball. There are further BUCS targets to hit based on how many teams compete at BUCS events and our target is ambitious, as it should be. As it stands our existing clubs have an average of 2.6 teams (based on last year’s BSKA club survey) so a realistic but challenging target in the medium term is to get 80 teams participating in various BUCS events. In the very near future this will include the Club Championships event thus hugely boosting our BUCS participation and in future the move to a league system to accommodate more teams is likely. Many lessons about this will be learnt from this years’ Central England Student Korfball League, which will help inform our work in this area.

Leadership

Every Club needs leaders and the BSKA needs leaders too. the leadership section of our plan will lay out how we intend to better support clubs during handover and make the management of a university club easier through simplifying what we do wherever possible.

Our sport also relies heavily on coaches and referees, and as we progress our sport more volunteers will be needed, in more forms. We will also look to support and develop more coaches and referees than we previously have done and will represent the needs of student volunteers in all forms to national governing bodies and area associations. In both respects employability is a huge issue for all students. The BSKA will do what it can to assist in the personal development of members, in order to make korfball not just hugely enjoyable, but also a worthwhile experience to take part in at university for the future.

Performance

Performance will be a section aimed at driving high performance and raising the standard of competitive korfball in UK universities. With the IKF and FISU in talks and currently planning to arrange a test IKF University World Cup at some point in 2015, the BSKA will aim to be central in assisting in the organisation for the event along with developing an exceptional and regular international programme for talented korfball players in our clubs. Should the 2015 World Cup succeed, Korfball looks set to be a regular feature in FISU world championships and our performance programme along with the quality of our existing competition structure and strong clubs will mean team GB will be aiming for medals.

Of course with all of these aims we will introduce measurement to ensure we meet our goals. We will continue to work on this plan with the assistance of the national governing bodies of England, Scotland, Wales and the British Korfball Association in all areas.

I should be clear that this plan, incorporating broadly new things, will not mean that we forget our original responsibilities to student korfball. The BSKA is and always will be committed to providing high quality competition between UK universities, effective representation of our members views and a great experience clubs and their members.

We look forward to working with you all as this plan begins to take student korfball in the UK to a higher level.

Bright future for Welsh Korfball

Cardiff University’s James Wilcox gives an overview of the growth of Korfball in Wales…

Student korfball in Cardiff is currently very healthy with the founding of a second university club. Cardiff Metropolitan University held their first session mid-September and are eagerly preparing for the start of their debut season in the Welsh Korfball League. The club was founded by a member of the Welsh Korfball Squad who recently began studying at the University. With assistance from the Welsh Korfball Association and the Cardiff Metropolitan University Athletic Union the Club hopes to enter the Southern Region qualifying event in November which qualifies universities for the BUCS Nationals. Cardiff Met are entered into the Welsh Korfball League and will be playing competitive matches all year. Welsh Korfball hope that this year will set a solid foundation on which the club can build in the future.

The Welsh Korfball Squad has spent the last few months preparing for the European Bowl Eastern Region tournament in the Netherlands, due to take place on the 18th and 19th of October. This is a qualification event for the IKF European Korfball Championship 2014. Wales are in a group with France and Romania whilst the other group contains Ireland, Turkey and Greece. The top two countries in each group will progress to a semi-final format and eventual final. The top three will qualify for the European Championship. Wales will be looking to continue their unbeaten record at the European Bowl having never lost whilst competing in the European Bowl Western Region. In the build up to the tournament Wales have played friendly matches against National League sides Birmingham City & Bearsted. Head Coach Leon Simons had this to say when asked about the squad:

“The squad works hard at training with good results. Everyone enjoys the sessions and has fun which is important. We focus on our tactical plans for attack and defence with lots practice. It is very nice to work with all the players!”

Strong Opening Season for Spartans

Media Officer Nikesh Patel reflects on a season to remember with the Southampton Spartans…

Southampton Spartans came onto the Korfball scene last year as a largely inexperienced team, with only three members who had played the sport before. It seemed unlikely that Southampton would be a real competitor in its first year of existence, but with true teamwork and determination, the Spartans started as they meant to go on with a year full of great successes.

The team was formed by David Creed and captained by Alex Bell, a pair who quickly went to work on coaching new players up to make a true Spartan army and make an impact as a new club. Southampton quickly showed their skill in their regional league, starting the season strongly and continuing to dominate the league throughout the year, eventually winning their division and being promoted to the top division.

The first major challenge of stepping onto the University Korfball stage was qualification for the National Korfball Championships at Southerns. Spartans had made an impact locally but this was their first chance at showing other Universities what they were about. Southampton travelled to Southerns as a relatively unknown team, with only a few teams remembering their domination at the Cardiff Fresher’s Tournament in which they came first and second. Spartans hard work paid off as they came second at Southerns, losing only to an experienced UEA squad.

It was now Southampton’s turn on the National stage. Spartans were drawn in a strong pool against Birmingham, Sheffield Hallam and Reading. With every match Spartans got better, breaking down the opposition’s attack whilst playing a strong offense. Spartans finished second in their group, meaning that Southampton had qualified top 8 and were guaranteed BUCS points; an amazing feat in itself for a new team. Southampton ended up finishing an impressive 5th in their first National Korfball Championship, a great achievement for a newly formed team.

Southampton have proved themselves as a strong team this year, and with experience and success under their belt, they’re ready for the 2013/2014 season.

GB Student Korfball Squad Selection – 09/03/13

Following BUCS National Championships 2013, an initial Great Britain Student Korfball Squad was selected. This squad is an interim squad which will participate in a number of demonstration fixtures prior to the selection of a full new representative squad in November. The squad was selected based on performance at BUCS National Championships and BSKA Club Championships. A squad of 23 players was selected.

The Squad selected is:

Amy Fitch (Nottingham), Rebecca Fitch (Cardiff), Abby Golding (Manchester), Kate Hotton (Southampton), Laura Pacey (Birmingham), Emma Parkes (Nottingham), Ella Paul (Edinburgh), Jenna Slaughter (UEA), Heather Stokes (UEA), Bexx Thornberg (UEA), Vikki Tobin (Sheffield Hallam), Jordie Wildin (Bristol)

Elliot Baker (Reading), Joe Bedford (Nottingham), Alex Bell (Southampton), Rob Bloomer (UEA), Steve Carter (Birmingham), Kyle Crombie (Edinburgh), Tim Farr (Nottingham), Ben King (Nottingham), Mark Varley (UEA), James Wilcox (Cardiff), Charlie Vogwill (UEA)

 

Congratulations to all those players selected. For more information on the GB student korfball squad, please email the association’s Squad Manager on studentkorfball@gmail.com

Central England Student Korfball League formed!

The Central England Korfball League and British Student Korfball Association are proud to announce the forthcoming Central England Student Korfball League (CESKL).

This is an exciting new venture for student korfball, taking the current top 6 teams in Central England and pitting them against each other in a separate competitive league format that will run alongside the regional league.

The student teams taking part are: Sheffield Hallam University, University of Birmingham, University of Leeds, University of Manchester, University of Nottingham and the University of Sheffield.

This is only the first step in further improvements to student korfball as a whole around the country. There is vision to expand this format and have it replicated across the regions and areas following the expected success of the league during the year. Keep an eye on the BSKA website for updates on progress and performance in the league.

 

For more information please contact BSKA the BSKA on studentkorfball@gmail.com

BSKA Club Championships to become BUCS Trophy Event

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This year the BSKA has agreed with BUCS that Club Championships will become a new BUCS Trophy event. The BUCS Trophy is a second tier competition which broadly follows all of the same formatting as Club Championships.

In essence BUCS will accredit the event and provide medals for it, but the points structure of the original BUCS competition, National Championships will hold, and BUCS points will not be available for the Trophy Competition.

BSKA Chairman Rob Bloomer commented that “The BSKA hopes that the inclusion of Club Championships in the BUCS programme proves beneficial for Universities in a number of ways. For some this may mean increased funding and support from their AU. For others, it may simply be that clubs can engage more of their members in representing their University in BUCS competition. Korfball has grown to the point where we should no longer limit the size of the BUCS programme to the National Championship cycle. We have many talented and committed players in the system that deserve the chance to play in BUCS and will now get that chance.”

The First BUCS Korfball Trophy will take place at Cardiff University on the 15th of March 2014.

For more information on the BUCS Trophy event, please contact the BSKA committee at studentkorfball@gmail.com.