Lending a hand to handball

London 2012 Olympian Holly Lam-Moores blogs about why she decided to get in to coaching and the value she's gained from it.

Holly Lam-Moores was one of the stars of the Team GB women’s handball team at London 2012. Holly has played professionally for Danish club Viborg HK and now plays for NEM Hawks in Super 8, the top league in England, and remains a key player for GB.

Holly is also proving to be one of the brightest coaching talents in the country. She took the Warrington Wolves under-18 girls team all the way to the National Cup Finals at the Copper Box this year. Holly is also the head coach of the girl’s England Handball National Academy, and the GB girl’s under-16 programme. All of this is done voluntarily as Holly works full time for Greater Sport.

We caught up with Holly to ask her why she started coaching, how she went about it, and what she gets from it.

Q: When did you decide you wanted to coach?

Once I returned home from Denmark I knew I wanted to give back to the sport and give young people opportunities that I have been lucky enough to have. Coaching just seemed to be a natural way of doing that - and sharing what I had learned by playing abroad for six years.

Q: How did you go about getting into coaching?

I volunteered at the Warrington Wolves Charitable Foundation. The Foundation works in four key areas: health, education, young people and social welfare.  In addition to their work with the Rugby Club, they also have an interest in handball. They have supported me with my own development and also as a coach by helping me gain my coaching qualifications.

Q: What advice would you give to anyone wanting to get into handball, either as a player or volunteer?

Go for it, get stuck in, whether it’s for fun, socially or you want to become the next big star! Handball is something different and an exciting sport to be a part of.

England Handball’s website has a club-finder resource so you can see where your nearest club is. You could also take a look England Handball’s Try Handball. This has been developed so you can play handball when and where you want to, whatever the space. So find out where your local club is and join.

It places an emphasis on fun and recreation so it’s great to play with friends and is an excellent introduction to the sport. Whichever way is best for you I’d say try this exciting, action-packed sport, be it playing, coaching, refereeing or helping out with things like looking after the club website – you’ll be hooked straight away!

Q: You do all this voluntarily. What do you get personally from coaching and volunteering?

Being a coach is very rewarding, especially when coaching young people and seeing the positive affect it has on them. We are like a little family at Warrington Wolves and all the parents get really involved in supporting the girls and helping me out with tasks such as collecting money. Some of the girls I coach have gone on to represent England and have travelled around Europe to play in tournaments. This is something that I was really passionate about as a young player so being able to help others take that journey is extremely rewarding.

Q: How is the coaching success you and other London 2012 handball team members are having benefitting the sport?

The Olympics and Paralympics Games gave a massive buzz around the sport so to be able to jump on the back of that has enabled us to get more young people playing handball. The power of the Games is immense and handball has really benefitted from it.

Holly was speaking to us as we continue to promote our #TryYourKitOn campaign, inspiring the nation to get up and get active this summer.

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