FErret

17th August 2012 at 01:00

Never mind Henry VIII, bring back handball

According to the British Handball Association, a precursor of the sport was banned by Henry VIII because it was interfering with archery practice. But with Britain failing to pick up medals with the bow and arrows, FErret supposes we might as well focus on handball instead.

The sport's new home will be Hackney Community College, which is opening a handball academy to train stars of the future on apprenticeships, following Team GB's valiant but doomed effort in a sport where most of the squad were as experienced as a Jamaican bobsleigh team.

Ian Ashman, the college principal, told the BBC that the academy would be "building on the experience that people have had viewing handball for the first time". And British Handball Association boss Paul Goodwin said there was huge interest, with the website crashing as people sought to find out more - although FErret wonders whether this bodes well for the association's readiness.

Nevertheless, good luck to Hackney in putting handball on the British sporting map.

From the horse's mouth

Now that we are all avid dressage fans - nay, experts - following Team GB's Olympic gold medals, how can we inspire a generation(TM) to take up horse-prancing and prove that it's not just a sport for toffs?

Luckily British Dressage is already on the case, having created an apprenticeship scheme with Haddon Training, both for riders and for the people who plait the horse's hair and polish its hooves.

So, naturally, the documentation emphasises that you don't have to be rich to do dressage? Er, not exactly. "Why has BD introduced an Apprenticeship Scheme? The National Minimum Wage presents problems for those who provide equestrian training." Oh, dear.

It doesn't get much better, when "to provide a first stepping stone for young people intending to make a career for themselves in the dressage industry" is listed only under "implied aims". Apparently the rhythm and regularity of the horses in dressage is called Takt: 0 points for that.

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