Tchoukball trio return home on a high with bronze medal haul

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Three tchoukball players have returned to the country with bronze medals after representing the UK at the sport’s world championships in Taiwan.

Sara Eden, Lauren Attride and Lois Rollin were part of the third-place UK women’s team, which beat Hong Kong in the third-place play-off to take home the bronze medal.

The trio took part in the competition along with five of their male counterparts from Bury Tchoukball Club - the UK men’s team finishing seventh.

The tournament nearly finished early as Taiwan was hit by the World’s biggest storm of 2015, Typhoon Soudelor.

Despite being an indoor sport, all games were called off on the third day and players were forced inside their hotel rooms, with a hectic schedule planned for the final day to catch up.

Many months of training paid off the for the UK ladies as they saw off Hong Kong in the play-off, despite having lost to the side in the round-robin league stage.

In the final Tawian retained their title, defeating Singapore.

Defender Eden, who plays for Bury’s national winning side Bury Kings, said: “It was a very proud moment for us.

“We had all worked incredibly hard and it was amazing what we achieved.”

In the men’s tournament, Taiwan again dominated with the final a repeat of the ladies’ competition.

Placed alongside both Taiwan and second-placed Singapore in their group, the UK men proved they are a rapidly improving side, losing to Singapore by just three points.

In the end they finished fourth in the group, earning a joint seventh finish.

However winners of the other group, Italy, who finished third overall, were comfortably beaten by Singapore in the semi-final.

Bury head coach Ian Parker, who was joined by fellow Bury players Martin Cates, Richard Gosling, Richard Jackson and Ben Wallace in the squad, said: “It was by far the best team I have played in and had we been in the other group we could have been looking at a bronze medal ourselves.

“Regardless it was just such an amazing tournament to be part of and we got the chance to play some amazing games against the best players in the world.”

He added: “The girls really did themselves and our club proud.

“Hopefully more women and girls will take up the sport.”

On Sunday, September 6, Bury St Edmunds Tchoukball Club is holding an open event offering anyone above the age of 12 a free trial of the sport.

From 1pm-3pm at South Lee Sports Hall at the Victory Ground in Bury St Edmunds, the club will giving free coaching and offering the chance to get involved with the national winning side.

Head coach Ian Parker said: “We are looking for both adults and children. We have numerous teams so everyone, regardless of ability, can get involved.

“Most people have never heard of the sport when they start so everybody will be in the same boat.”

The side is holding its annual trials earlier in the day and visitors are welcome to come along and see the players in action from 12-1pm at the sports hall.