Our year 8 girls’ team reached the National Finals for the first time in 35 years.

The 11 girls, who only started playing the sport of handball three months ago, came together to participate in the Norfolk Handball Championship, held at the UEA, hosted by Norwich City’s Community Sports Foundation. The girls won the Norfolk Championships and went on to represent Norfolk in the Eastern Region Championships. They exceeded all expectations at the Eastern Region, winning the competition after a tense penalty shootout, to progress to the National Finals, a ‘first for a girls’ team from Northgate High School in at least 35 years’ said Chris Price, ex head of PE.

With the support of Norwich City Community Sports Foundation, and the partnership we have as a Community Hub, the very excited bunch of girls travelled to Worcester University over the weekend of 10th June 2017, to take part in the England Handball National Finals. The fantastic facilities did no favours in calming the girls’ nerves, nor did the experienced teams warming up, however the Northgate girls continued to rise to every challenge, applying all they had learnt in just three coaching sessions from a local coach. Once again, expectations were beaten and the girls demonstrated their right to be in the competition. Other teams commented on their ‘threatening play’ and how they were ‘saving themselves for our game’.

The fixtures schedule did not work in Northgate’s favour. They were the only team to play two back to back games and the only team to face a two hour gap between games in the afternoon. Nevertheless, they battled through remaining in the top four of the league table throughout the competition, and third place was in reach. Despite two wins, two draws and two losses, including beating one of the teams who reached the finals, Northgate were unable to score the goals needed to put them in third place and finished with a well-deserved fourth position in the finals. This is possibly the highest ever National ranking for a team from Northgate.

Mrs Holt, Head of Girls PE, says ‘it is estimated around 300 schools have taken part in the U13 England Handball competition, therefore the girls finishing fourth in the country is a great achievement. I am extremely proud of the girls and their progress over the last three months has been amazing. Having had no experience in Handball whatsoever to being ranked fourth in the country is unbelievable; it is such a big achievement for the girls’ and the school. I am looking forward to more success in the future’.