GB star Hawkins brings handball to Eastbourne

Gildredge House School during a handball session
Gildredge House School during a handball session

Team GB handball star Mark Hawkins inspired youngsters in Eastbourne at a Sportivate project last week, in the hope of encouraging involvement in the ever growing sport.

The GB athlete took classes at Gildredge House school as one of the key initiatives to create a sporting legacy from the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Sportivate is the £56 million National Lottery funded Olympic and Paralympic legacy initiative that gives 11 to 25-year-olds who aren’t particularly sporty six to eight weeks’ free coaching in a new sport and then helps them find low costs ways to continue playing.

Hawkins was picked to play for his country at the London 2012 Games after being spotted at a UK Sport Talent ID programme ‘Sporting Giants’ and is the first British handball player to have played abroad in the Icelandic League. The sport has risen to prominence in recent years after Team GB took part in the 2012 London Games.

Hawkins visited a Sportivate handball project in his capacity as a Sport England Sporting Champion. The sessions took place at Gildredge House school on February 2 and 6, thanks to Active Sussex who provide Sportivate funding in the area on behalf of Sport England.

Hawkins was excited about attending so that he could help the young people participating raise their own aspirations. Mark said, “I’m really looking forward to this exciting Sportivate project in Eastbourne. I cannot wait to help them get them into sport and share my experience of proudly representing my country at a home based Olympic Games.