Bromley Korfball Club to welcome Dutch 'legend'

Korfball has its roots in Holland, where it is a hugely popular sport

Korfball has its roots in Holland, where it is a hugely popular sport

First published in News
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This Is Local London: Photograph of the Author by , reporter

A Dutch Korfball legend is coming to Bromley to help promote the sport in the UK.

Bromley Korfball Club (BKC), based in Beckenham, will welcome Holland’s national U16 team coach Leon Simmons later this month.

Mr Simmons is heralded as one of the sport’s most successful stars and has agreed to school Bromley’s youth and senior players on August 27.

Over the last two years BKC, London’s only Sport England Clubmark accredited outfit, has hosted the Dutch side for friendly fixtures. 

Now head coach Bill Berry, 47, is hoping the visit pushes his squad to progress further.

He said: “This is really big news for us – it’s unprecedented that we’ve got such an amazing Korfball legend coming. It’s never happened before in the UK.

“He’s one of the best Korfball players of his generation.

“He’s coming for a day – flying in and then flying back straight away.”

This Is Local London:

Leon Simmons 

BKC has been running since 2008, when it set up as a junior team. Two years ago it expanded to create a senior side.

In June the Dutch U16 squad came to play against BKC and accompanied them on school demonstrations and events.

Mr Berry, who has been playing since 35, said Korfball is gaining in reputation and proving particularly popular in universities.

But he added it has a way to go, and hopes Mr Simmons’ trip benefits the sport as a whole - as well as Bromley.

He explained: “We extremely excited. He’s going to train our youth and senior players.

“There are around eight or nine thousand people who play in the UK. It’s a growing sport.”

Korfball has similarities to netball and basketball. At league level it is either played as a mixed gender sport or all women.

It is played by two teams of eight whose objective is to throw a ball through a bottomless basket 11.5 feet high. It was invented by a Dutch schoolteacher in 1902.

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