Welcome to the first of Epigram Sport’s fortnightly ‘introducing’ piece, where we speak to the club captain of an obscure or unheard of sport and get to know what it is all about. This week, our very own Sports Editor, Nicky Withers, caught up with Korfball captain, Nick Main.
Invented by a Dutch P.E teacher, Korfball was originally adapted from the Swedish game ringboll, with its name coming from the Dutch word ‘korf’ meaning basket.
If you’re looking at a korfball pitch you’ll see 16 players, eight on each team. Notably, four of them will be male and four female as it’s one of the few mixed sports by definition. The pitch is divided into zones and each team will have set attackers and defenders, who swap roles after two goals are scored. The aim of the game is to score through a 3.5m tall basket and much like netball, running or dribbling with the ball is not allowed, making your teamwork crucial.
I interviewed University of Bristol Korfball Club captain Nick Main:
Nick is your go to guy for any korf questions, he can usually be found shooting some Korfs or on the Gravity dance floor. pic.twitter.com/dgLndKZLlp
— Bristol Uni Korfball (@bristolunikorf) October 4, 2017
NW: Had you heard of Korfball before University?
NM: I had heard of the sport before University, but had literally no idea of what it involved. I think that’s one of the best things about the sport; the fact no one has heard of it before we see them at Welcome Fair means that everyone starts from the same level. Obviously, there are a smattering of members who have played before University, some to a very high level, and these members often become qualified coaches within a year.
NW: What made you join the Korfball club?
NM: When I came to Welcome Fair in my first year, I really badly wanted to find a sport that I had not played before. I initially thought about handball, only to find that there wasn’t actually a handball club at the University. I was drawn to Korfball because of that fact that everyone starts new, it was very affordable and seemed very fun!
#3 – Every year, we enter 3 teams in the inter-university competition, BUCS. This means that we get to travel across the country for weekend tournaments! We have days full of matches and evenings full of fun. This year our 3rd team placed 10th at the National Plate tournament, our 2rd team came 5th at National Trophy and our 1st team came 5th at the National Championships! 🏆 #bristol #bristoluni #korfball #korf #BUCS #10reasons #freshers #bristolSU
NW: What’s your best memory with the club?
NM: Our tour to the Netherlands in 2017 stands out for me. We sent two teams to take part in the annual Attila Tournament in Eindhoven, an international tournament where teams from as far as Slovakia take part. Out of 26 teams, one of our sides came 6th, an incredible placing, including a brilliant victory over the Swedish National Team. I doubt many University clubs can claim to have beaten an international side! We also had an Alumni team alongside us, and it was great to see them still playing the sport, some having left University 3 years previous. There were also two socials over the course of the weekend, both were brilliant events, and korfball is always best played slightly hungover the next morning! Other than that, BUCS South-West Preliminaries in December 2016 were a highlight for the club. Our 1st team managed to clinch the title, scoring in the last play of the game!
NW: What are your aims for the season?
NM: Last season was probably one of our best ever. For the first time, we had 3 teams competing in BUCS and in the local leagues, with our 1st and 3rd teams winning. I think our aim this year has to be similar, and perform even better in BUCS as well. We are currently the 5th best university side in the country, and it would be amazing to push into the top three, something that is definitely achievable.
NW: What would you say to anyone thinking of joining this year?
NM: For me, there is no better club at the University. Our memberships start from £35, which is great value. For that fee, you get access to our training sessions, led by highly-qualified coaches, access to our socials, some of the best at the whole University, and if selected, matches every weekend in the Local League and BUCS Tournaments which are held throughout the year. We are one of the cheapest and most accessible clubs at the University, we welcome absolutely anyone. If you haven’t got that football trial, or have missed out on the rugby teams, definitely come along and join us! There is no other club that has the same dynamic as us!
If you’re interested, look into joining the Korfball club via the SU website