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Parker urges people to give tchoukball a try

EYE ON THE BALL: Bury St Edmunds tchoukball players in action
EYE ON THE BALL: Bury St Edmunds tchoukball players in action

Five-time champions of England, currently ranked eighth in Europe and coached by the UK Men’s head coach, but most people will have never heard of one of Bury’s most celebrated sporting sides.

Current Bury St Edmunds Tchoukball Club head coach Ian Parker had never heard of tchoukball until he went to university eight years ago, now he has travelled the world playing the sport alongside many others from the Bury area.

On Thursday (January 11) the club is hoping a new batch of men and women can come and give the sport a go, with attendees also given three free sessions.

Tchoukball is a handball sport that uses skills you might otherwise find in volleyball, basketball, netball, handball or even squash. A quick search on Youtube and you will find a whole selection of videos of the fast-paced game.

The unknown nature of the game means everybody starts on an even playing field. The sport carries a philosophy of fair play, with a friendly atmosphere. For those with sporting ambitions, being a smaller sport gives players an increased chance of reaching a higher level.

Bury coach Ian Parker is also the UK Men’s Head Coach. He actively talent IDs individuals that he believes have the potential to reach international standard, whether junior or adult.

He said: “The club is always on the lookout for people of all ages and abilities to come and try the sport. Players at Bury take part from a social and local level, right through to representing national teams.

“It’s a brilliant game that offers a great social atmosphere and the chance to meet new people.

“While I have been lucky enough to travel as far as Taiwan to play, it has also given me some of my closest friends.”

Current UK squad players include a former semi-professional cricketer who made the cross-over into the national side within three years.

Local netballers have also made a similar transition into the women’s UK squad.

For the club’s efforts to offer sporting opportunities to all, it has been named Club of the Year at the St Edmundsbury Sports Awards three times. In addition, Parker is the current West Suffolk Sports Personality of the Year.

The club offers sessions at South Lee School Sports Hall, The Victory Ground, Bury St Edmunds on Thursdays at 8pm and Saturdays at 2pm.

Anyone interested in trying out tchoukball for free, or would like to find out more, can email ian.parker@tchoukball.org.uk

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