Junior WPH is proud to have provided opportunities for thousands of youngsters to learn and play handball the right way through the first half of 2015. After hosting more than 1200 junior handball clinics and introducing the game to more than 4000 young people in 2013 and 2014, Junior WPH furthered our mission to grow the game in 2015 by sponsoring flourishing junior handball programs, starting new junior handball programs and providing youngsters with the best coaches and opportunities to develop the passion to play handball. Junior WPH focuses not only on proper handball fundamentals, but teaching sportsmanship, integrity, discipline, leadership and camaraderie through handball. Check out what Junior WPH has accomplished through the first half of 2015!
- WPH No Frills Fundraiser and junior handball tournament (January 2015): Junior WPH hosted a Tucson junior handball fundraiser, with several of the game’s best players teaming with junior players in a special doubles division. Junior handball players also competed in junior singles and doubles divisions, while also having an opportunity to take clinics from a WPH Certified Coach. “The No Frills was a great way to kickoff 2015, as junior players had an opportunity to watch and play alongside their heroes,” stated WPH Youth and Donor Development Director David Fink.
- Junior WPH junior and collegiate clinic at the Houston Race 4 Eight (January 2015): WPH Women’s Race 4 Eight star Ashley Moler and WPH Race 4 Eight star Mando Ortiz coached a clinic for 15 college students at Houston’s annual Race 4 Eight stop. The students were able to develop a deeper understanding of the game’s fundamentals and strategies by learning from two of the best players in the sport. “Most of the students were young ladies and they really enjoyed incorporating some of the cross-training techniques that I suggested,” revealed Moler.
- Junior WPH Weekly after school and weekend clinics (January 2015-April 2015): Junior WPH held after school and Saturday clinics each week between January and April of 2015, providing young people with an opportunity to experience teamwork, camaraderie and being physically active, while developing skills and learning how to compete with integrity and respect for their opponents. “The level of improvement has been tremendous throughout the course of the after school and weekend clinics,” revealed WPH Youth and Donor Development Director David Fink. “More importantly, however, is the amount of fun the kids are having in a structured environment that promotes positivity and goal-oriented initiatives.”
- Junior WPH junior clinic at the San Francisco R48: WPH Race 4 Eight star Jon Iglesias coached a group of a dozen junior handball players at San Francisco’s Race 4 Eight stop at the Olympic Club. The young participants were thrilled to improve their games under the keen eye of one of the game’s best. “I really enjoy working with the kids,” stated Iglesias. “When I was a young player learning the game it was always a huge highlight to have the opportunity to learn from top players and I am proud to provide that opportunity for the next generation of players.”
- Junior WPH Welcomes Canadian Junior Stars to Tucson (April 2015): The World Players of Handball welcomed Canadian junior standouts Michael Gaulton and Leslie Amminson to Tucson for an afternoon of coaching and practicing at the Tucson Racquet Club with WPH #5 pro David Fink. Arriving just after coaching handball at Khalsa Montessori School, the WPH jumped on the court with Gaulton and Amminson as they prepared for the USHA Hall of Fame Tournament & Women’s Classic.
“These teenagers are immensely talented,” revealed Fink. “Both will be pros in the near future, as each possesses a tremendous passion for the game and incredibly well-developed skills.”
- Junior WPH clinics at Khalsa School (Febraury 2015-May 2015): Junior WPH proudly returned to Khalsa Montessori School in Tucson to coach handball to the entire Khalsa School Middle School during weekly P.E. Classes. Students learned how to play 1-Wall handball on the spectacular 1-Wall courts on the campus of Khalsa School. “The kids really enjoyed learning different games and dexterity exercises that come with playing handball,” revealed WPH Master Instructor David Fink
- Junior WPH Clinic at the Southwest Regional Handball Tournament in Austin, TX (March 2015): Six colleges from Texas and Florida attended the Southwest Regional Handball Tournament in Austin, TX, and were treated to a clinic coached by former WPH #1 Allan “TBB” Garner, current top 25 WPH pro Adam Bernhard and special guest instructor, 2012 USHA Handball Hall of Fame inductee John Bike. “The clinic was really great,” stated Garner. “The participants were taught the warm-up, back wall drills and footwork exercises
- Team WPH at the USHA Hall of Fame Tournament & Women’s Classic (April 2015): Junior WPH was well represented in the junior and B divisions at the USHA Hall of Fame Tournament & Women’s Classic, with Junior WPH 13-and-under stars Carlos Villegas advancing to the finals and Westley Harden finishing fourth. WPH Team Member Matt Payne advanced to the finals of the B singles in his first tournament, winning three rounds against seasoned players en route to the finals. “The Junior WPH players were extremely eager to play against players from other cities, and each of the players relished the opportunity to make new friends and compete in the tournament,” stated WPH Youth and Donor Development David Fink
- Junior WPH Mega Clinic and Junior 1-Wall Challenge at the WPH Outdoor Cross Over Revolution (June 2015): The World Players of Handball was thrilled to present the Venice Mega Junior Handball Clinic and Junior 1-Wall Challenge in Venice Beach, CA June 19th-20th. More than 50 junior players between the ages of 8-19 enjoyed multiple handball clinics with several of the game’s greatest players on the Venice Beach 1-Wall handball courts, just 25 feet from the beach. The juniors applied what they learned in the Mega Clinics in the Junior 1-Wall Challenge. The youngsters competed with and against one another in singles and doubles competitions, with each youngster demonstrating tremendous passion for the game and handball skills. “All of the kids showed good sportsmanship, played by the rules, showed discipline, and most importantly, they had fun playing the game,” declared Junior 1-wall Challenge tournament co-director Alexia Lozano. “Thanks to the entire WPH staff who have devoted so much time and effort into making the junior’s clinics and tournaments the success they are today. You have taught my son Michael and all of the kids sportsmanship, fair play, and many values they will need throughout life. Thank you for your guidance and continued support.”
- Junior WPH Program the University of West Florida (yearly): The World Players of Handball is thrilled to have partnered with UWF Handball club Founder Michael Morgan and the University of West Florida’s handball team in Pensacola, Fl. “Mike Morgan is one of handball’s greatest promoters and ambassadors and we proudly support his UWF handball team,” declared WPH Youth Donor and Development Director David Fink. “Coach Morgan has probably introduced and retained more handball players in the past five years than anyone in the world. Great job Michael and we look forward to working with you and your program for many years to come.”
- Junior WPH Natty Gonzalez cd. Juarez, Mexico (yearly): The World Players of Handball is proud to announce our partnership with the handball-crazed city of Juarez, MX. Juarez possesses one of the strongest handball communities in North America, producing WPH R48 top 12 pros Luis and Daniel Cordova, as well as a number of other high level players. The Juarez handball community and Coach Richie “Drft” Fernandez are determined to continue to grow the game in Juarez, hosting weekly junior handball clinics and providing opportunities for juniors to travel to tournaments. “Drft brings an incredible energy and enthusiasm for handball and the kids love him,” stated WPH Youth Donor and Development Director David Fink. “In his first week of clinics, Drft recruited more than 20 kids between the ages of 6-16. The WPH looks forward to tremendous junior handball growth in Juarez and helping the Juarez handball community build and sustain one of the best junior handball programs in the world.”
- Junior WPH Marco’s Kids in Southern California (yearly): Coach Marco Coromac has built one of the largest and strongest junior handball programs in the country and the World Players of Handball is honored to assist Coach Marco in his efforts to teach important life lessons and values through handball in Southern California. “Coach Marco is an incredible influence on his junior handball players and precisely what we hope for in all of our coaches,” stated WPH Youth Donor and Development Director David Fink. “The WPH has held a number of clinics with “Marcos’s Kids” and all of the youngsters are always respectful, appreciative and passionate about playing the game the right way. The WPH is thrilled to be able to provide junior handball equipment, opportunities to travel to tournaments and clinics to “Marco’s Kids.” Thank you Coach Marco.”
- Junior WPH at the Tucson Racquet Club All Sports Camp (May-July 2015): Junior WPH Rookies Coach Tanner Cleveland coaches five junior handball clinics per day at the Tucson Racquet Club All Sports Camp throughout the 10-week summer camp. Coach Cleveland stresses the importance of warming-up, handball fundamentals, handball strategy and most importantly, having fun! “We have been so fortunate to have had the WPH leading our handball program at the TRC All Sports Summer Camp for the past three summers,” stated camp director Coach Anderson. “Tanner has been so positive and the kids really love him. Handball is so popular at the camp that each class fills up with volunteers immediately.”
- Junior WPH Clinic at the University of West Florida featuring top 12 WPH pros Luis and Daniel Cordova (June 2015): Top 12 WPH R48 Pros Luis and Daniel Cordova hosted a sensational Junior WPH Clinic for the University of West Florida’s WPH sponsored team at the end of UWF’s 2015 spring semester. The Cordovas explained and demonstrated the importance of footwork and shot selection, fielded questions from the enthusiastic UWF players, played points against each member of the team, provided critiques of their games and staged a thrilling exhibition match for the awestruck collegiate players.
“The clinic was a huge success, as UWF team members and several new players participated,” revealed UWF Handball Club Founder and handball ambassador Michael Morgan. “Daniel and Luis provided useful tips that players were working on throughout the clinic and the next day at practice. After a thrilling exhibition match, which saw Luis come back from a 9-10tiebreaker deficit to defeat WPH R48 Rookie of the Year Daniel Cordova, Luis and Daniel played doubles with several members of the team. From everyone with the University of West Florida Handball Team, thank you to Luis and Daniel and the WPH for putting on a great event.”
- Junior WPH Clinic at the Jr. Vasquez California State Doubles Championships (July 2015): WPH Outdoor superstar Samzon Hernandez led an exceptional Junior WPH clinic at the Jr. Vasquez California State Doubles Championships for the third consecutive year. More than 30 youngsters had the opportunity to participate in the Jr. Vasquez 3-Wall clinic, including Junior WPH’s Marco’s Kids. “Coach Samzon is already a living legend in 3-Wall handball in his mid-twenties and the kids are so excited to be able to learn from one of their heroes,” stated WPH Youth Donor and Development Director David Fink. “Coach Samzon is patient, highly knowledgeable and extremely positive. Every junior handball player that has had an opportunity learn from him loves the experience and always sees a dramatic improvement in his respective handball game.”
- Junior WPH at the RFC 7 International (July 2015): The World Players of Handball sponsored its 7th Rodney Fink Classic, featuring 4-Wall and 1-Wall cross over play, as well as providing several juniors with an opportunity to watch and play with an against several of the world’s best players. The RFC also introduced several first-time players during the event, as youngsters watching the RFC matches jumped into the courts with WPH coaches
Junior WPH will continue its ambitious junior handball initiatives in the second half of 2015 with after school and weekend clinics across the country, the “Battle of the Border” junior team competition in Tucson between Junior WPH Juarez and the Fred Lewis Foundation, clinics and junior handball tournaments at WPH Outdoor events and much more. Stay tuned to wphlive.tv and juniorhandball.org for all of the exciting junior handball updates.
WPH Senior Writer