From Ningbo to Viborg with 22 ten-year-olds

Photo: Ningbo Jinjiacao Primary School U-10 girls and U-10 boys

Ningbo Jinjiacao Primary School arrived to Generation Handball on 27 July with 22 excited ten-year-olds, and in fact, it’s the school’s third time at Generation Handball. They’ve chosen to return in both 2016, 2017, and 2018, and in 2018, it’s with 12 U-10 boys and 10 U-10 girls.

Chinese teams fancy Danish handball
The school teams that come from the Chinese city Ningbo has previously participated in tournaments in Italy, Sweden, Hungary, and Generation Handball in Denmark, and about being here for the third time, the Ningbo Jinjiacao Primary School principal mr. Chen Xijiang explains:
“We return to Generation Handball for many reasons: Great hospitality, it’s a good organisation, we like the food, and the events. The atmosphere is good with everything in one place. The players can more easily communicate, and this is also a good opportunity for us to watch other more skilled teams play.”

Principal Mr. Chen Xijiang elaborates on the Chinese interest in Danish handball: “I think that I see a tendency that more Chinese teams want to go to Denmark for these reasons as well.”
An example of this is also the Chinese presence in Viborg since August 2017, as the Chinese national teams for both men and women have stayed in Viborg for long training camps learning from Danish handball.

Creating a handball culture
Handball is a somewhat new sport in China compared to old handball nations such as Denmark, and the Chinese Handball Association also organises tournaments for teams in the classes of U-10 and U-12 to have more young handball players. Last week, Ningbo Jinjiacao Primary School participated in the handball tournament in Changzhou where they met Generation Handball CEO Jens Steffensen who was also there with his U-18 boys team from Bjerringbro-Silkeborg.

“Our players have played handball for around two or three years. In general, the Chinese handball players begin to play handball at the age of 7 or 8 years. Our main priority at Generation Handball is however not the result itself, but we come here first of all to enjoy the happiness of the handball sport and to learn,” says principal Mr. Chen Xijiang.

Ningbo Jinjiacao Primary School is a public elementary school but has handball as their main sport, and they also host campus tournaments themselves. The school has four different age groups from grade 3 to grade 6. This year, the grade 3 players participate in Generation Handball, and we welcome them to the festival!