Clarence Valley is handed a new sport
By TONY WHITE
WHEN it comes to the Olympic sport of handball, Sweden-born Ellen Petterson ranks as an expert.
And the 20-year-old is about to introduce the sport, hugely popular in Europe, the Americas and Brazil, to the Clarence Valley.
Tonight from 7pm at the Wherrett Park Indoor Sports Centre, Maclean, Petterson will be on hand to impart her expertise.
Petterson, who has played handball for 10 years, represented her native Sweden at two junior world championships in Croatia and is a regular player on the domestic competition in Sweden.
She has been in the Clarence visiting Yamba-based sister Jessica and her husband, Carl.
Petterson's availability came almost by chance.
"I was playing squash at the centre and ended up having a talk about handball with the people there," Petterson said. "Handball is a fun game. It's very popular in Europe. It takes good hand-eye co-ordination, you've got to be strong but anyone can do it. Tomorrow night should be interesting," she said yesterday.
Wherrett Park's Sandra McPherson said after talking with Petterson the idea sprung to mind to introduce a new indoor sport.
"It's a chance to introduce something new, for people to try a new sport and hopefully we can get a competition up and running," she said. "Ellen was holidaying with her sister and agreed to help out."
Olympic-style handball is similar to indoor soccer and basketball. There are six players per team and interested persons are invited to attend the session as a team or as individuals to become part of a team.
Petterson will be in Australia until the end of June, then she returns to Sweden to take up a contract. "We play during the winter," Petterson said. "They play professionally but there's not much money in it for women. I was thinking of trying to stay in Australia but but I've got a new contract with one of the good teams and can make something playing."