Great Britain’s Olympic captain Bobby White has been unveiled as the player coach of the city’s new handball club.
Milton Keynes man White has been placed in charge of the MK Oly Cats, who will compete in the Midlands Regional Development League – one level below the English Handball Association’s top division of the Super 8s.
The goalkeeper led his country at London 2012 and will be joined by ‘elite’ team mates made up of fellow Team GB players and promising talent emerging from the England Regional Academy.
Recently launched multi-discipline sports club Olympic Catuvellauni have launched the newest addition to the city’s sporting map.
“I am really excited about this project,” said White. “This is what legacy is all about, taking the knowledge and expertise I have developed over my professional career and passing it down to the younger generations in a sustainable, systematic approach.
“Of course, I still have unfinished business on the court myself. It will be a challenge but it is an opportunity that really excites me; I am confident our abilities match our ambition and we will be at the forefront of handball development in the UK.”
Catuvellauni – pronounced Cat-oo-well-orn-ee – was established with a London 2012 legacy in mind and the handball club will also run a youth development programme.
Chris Rivett, chairman of Catuvellauni, added: “I am delighted to reach the stage of being able to launch our first sports team so soon after forming the club.
“It was important we started with a sport where we felt we could make an immediate difference and, in speaking with Bobby and the players we hope to sign, I know we will have some very ambitious and focused players coming into the club, who are determined to ensure that the legacy of handball at the Games lives on for generations.
“If we can channel that hunger and desire successfully then the Oly Cats, and handball in the region, will have a very exciting future.”
Handball is hugely popular in the rest of Europe and there has been a 40 per cent increase in schools participation since London.
White has also played for clubs in Denmark, Austria, Greece and France, but the sport’s funding was cut to zero by UK Sport last year.
The new club will begin training on July 9 and provisionally be based at MK College in Bletchley. For further information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.