With the winter pause in fixtures underway and the end of the calendar year approaching, we’ve taken the time to reflect on 2018 and take a look back at the different achievements and successes for Scottish Korfball this year. So here are the SKA’s 12 days of Scottish Korfball for 2018.
1 – Edinburgh International Korfball Tournament
For a number of years, one of the first (and most popular!) dates in the calendar has been the Edinburgh International Korfball Tournament, or EIKT, organised by Edinburgh University Korfball Club. The tournament is oversubscribed every year with the 2018 tournament playing host to 24 teams from across the UK and Europe. The winners this year were Holland 1 beating Midlands Kings and Queens in the final. The popularity of the tournament is a huge credit to Edinburgh University Korfball Club, drawing so many teams from far and wide to compete in Scotland.
EIKT 2019 will take place on 19/20th January. Good luck to all teams who are competing and enjoy the ceilidh!
2 – SKA Cup and All Star Match
The SKA Cup finals for 2017/18 took place on 17th February in Glasgow. The Gold medal match saw Edinburgh Mavericks A face Glasgow A, and the Bronze medal match Mavericks 1 vs Edinburgh City, with Mavericks clinching Gold and Bronze and Glasgow Silver. The day also saw the Scotland Korfball All Star match, with 2 teams formed from nominations from each club, and then selections by coaches. The 2 teams were Alba Globetrotters, coached by John Wright, and Caledonia Legends, coached by Dave Ewing.
The 2018/19 SKA Cup kicked off in November with representation from all Scottish Clubs, as well as the visiting Newcastle University. Edinburgh Mavericks, Glasgow and Edinburgh City again saw teams through to the finals which will take place in February 2019.
3 – Inter Areas and development squad
In May, members of the Scotland Development and National Squads teamed up to compete in the Senior Inter Areas competition in Banbury, picking up a pleasing win and draw in amongst some tough fixtures. The tournament offered a great opportunity for development squad players to compete at a high level against strong opponents from English Korfball – and also saw a number of players from the squad ultimately step up to the National Squad for the European Championships. Congratulations to all who played!
Squad: Jena Connolly, Harriet Derrick, Frances Holligan, Emma Lindsay, Rachel Pennington, John Bagnall, Jean Fourie, Michael Garbutt, Calum Lindsay, Owen Shea.
4 – End of the 2017/18 season
After a second season on the bounce unbeaten, Edinburgh Mavericks were again crowned champions of Scottish Korfball League 1. Also unbeaten last season, Glasgow 2 were crowned champions of SKL2. The End of Season Awards were hosted in Edinburgh and saw the league winners receive their trophies and medals, as well as individual awards for MVPs and Top Scorers. This year the Beth Bennett Award for outstanding service to Scottish Korfball was awarded to Michael Nicholson.
5 – Stats
Let’s look at some of the stats from last season and appreciate what was achieved by all those competing – how will they compare once we get to the end of the current season? (All figures taken from League Republic stats)
2714 – the number of goals scored in the SKL last season
+353 – the Goal Difference for SKL 1 Champions Edinburgh Mavericks
60 / 40 – the ratio of goals for Male / Female players across SKL 1 and SKL 2
14 – the number of teams who competed in the league from 6 clubs (See Number 8 below for how this changed at the start of the 2018/19 season!)
237 – the number of players registering an official league match appearance for one of our clubs
6 – National Squad visit TOP Sassenheim
As the National Squad stepped up preparations for the European Championships, they travelled to The Netherlands for a training camp at Dutch League champions TOP Sassenheim. A packed schedule across the weekend included watching the TOP first team play and playing a friendly match against TOP3/4. Special thanks go to National Team Assistant Coach Bas Harland, who works at TOP, for organising this fantastic opportunity.
7 – Summer Tournaments
Once the league has finished many clubs turn to summer tournaments, which offer the chance to keep playing korfball and also enjoy more of a social scene, with different formats to tournaments, as well as many barbecues and after-parties on offer. St Andrews and Dundee Korfball Clubs host tournaments across the same weekend in May, allowing teams to make a weekend of it and compete at both. St Andrews tournament takes place on the beach and is a highlight in many korfball calendars (especially when the weather behaves!). Dundee host a full court, 8v8 outdoor tournament which always has exceptional barbecue/cakes/raffle on offer! Later in the summer Edinburgh Mavericks hosted Mavs Mania – another outdoor tournament this time using the new Korf4 rules.
It was great to see Scottish teams travelling this summer too to attend summer tournaments elsewhere in the UK and abroad!
8 – 3 teams and youth, new season
There is no question that the level of korfball and participation in korfball is improving and growing in Scotland – but we also know there is an awful lot of hard work to do to ensure that continues! This season saw Edinburgh City and Dundee enter third teams into the league, and the return of Strathclyde University to the SKL. In addition, Dundee have grown youth players into their line ups, and both Dundee and Glasgow continue to hold regular training sessions for youth players helping to ensure a bright future for korfball in Scotland.
A big thank you and well done to all those who work hard at each of our clubs behind the scenes – running the club committees, coaching, refereeing and otherwise supporting the SKA and its activities.
9 – Coaching Course led by Bas Harland
In September the SKA hosted a coaching course, led by Bas Harland from TOP Sassenheim. Coaches were given the opportunity to be involved in the National Squad training session followed by a clinic with Bas. A valuable session for all involved. A further coaching development opportunity was offered by the SKA during the SKA cup weekend in November, which saw a number of more experienced coaches pair up with developing coaches to share experience and ideas. These events have been part of the SKA’s efforts to ensure the development of all clubs within the SKL and to encourage the collaboration of coaches to improve the level and knowledge at all clubs.
10 – Scotland National Team at the European Championships
It was an emotional rollercoaster supporting our team at the European Championships. The squad had an unbelievable start in the group stage with wins over Wales and Serbia, and losing only on golden goal to eventual 8th place Hungary with regulation time ending 13-13 after trailing 7-5 at half time. However we then met an Irish team who hit form when it counted in the competition, ultimately losing the match 15-13 and unfortunately dreams of making the World Championships in 2019 were all but over, something that has been hard for the squad to swallow with the performances they gave. However, there was enormous pride from back home and such incredible support from Scotland and beyond, and a sense of anticipation at what could be achieved in the future…
Congratulations and thanks go to all those who were involved in the European Championships from the planning and organising (special mentions to Team Manager Graham Robertson and Coach Johan Oosterling) to the players themselves, and of course everyone who supported the team both in The Netherlands and from afar.We’d also like to thank our friends at School Loevestein in Gorredijk for their support!! #TeamScotland
Squad: Nicol Harrow (VC), Joanna Cook, Jen Merritt, Jena Connolly, Rachel Pennington, Rebecca Fitch, Kyle Crombie (C), Alex Forrest, Angus Davidson, Calum Lindsay, David Wiseman, George Rourke, Jimmy Seymour.
Coach: Johan Oosterling Assistant Coach: Bas Harland
11 – BUCS
University clubs form an important part of the SKA and the start of December saw the first round of the British University and Colleges Sport (BUCS) competition, hosted by Strathclyde University. Teams from each of the University clubs in the SKL competed, with Edinburgh University 1, Strathclyde and St Andrews 1 making it through to Regionals in January 2019. You can read the full report and final standings on our website. Good luck to all our clubs in the next rounds!
12 – Current league standings and look to 2019
It has been a fast and furious start to the 2018/19 season ever since the first matches on 16th September. As things stand, Edinburgh Mavericks are top of League 1, with Edinburgh City 2 points behind in 2nd. All teams sit on 8 games played. In League 2, Strathclyde University are currently 4 points clear of Edinburgh University 2 in 2nd, but with games in hand from teams below there is a lot to play for! It’s been a great start to the season for Ross Fraser and Marisa Graser of Strathclyde, scoring 33 and 30 goals respectively in League 2. In League 1, Dave Ewing and Owen Shea lead the scoring at Christmas with 33 goals each.
League matches will resume on 13th January for both leagues, with the league finals day taking place on Saturday 13th April 2019. Good luck to all teams for the second half of the season.
The SKA Committee would like to wish members, friends and supporters of Scottish Korfball a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Here’s to another fantastic year ahead for our sport.