Kinnoull Primary School has been crowned the korfball Scottish Schools Open champions following a narrow victory over Dunbarney Primary in Dundee.

The Championship matches constituted the main event of a broader Festival of Korfball held at Dundee International Sport Centre on Saturday 21st June.  The festival was Scotland’s contribution to the 2014 “Worldwide Korfball Match”, which saw teams from across the globe participating in a wide array of korfball-based activities.

The event also formed part of SportDundee’s Commonwealth Games Challenge, a local initiative that challenged Tayside children to sample a broad array of sports over the weeks leading up to the 2014 Games in Glasgow.

Korfball is a sport of Dutch origin with similarities to netball and basketball.  Teams of four male and four female players- each able only to mark their own sex- attempt to score goals by throwing a ball through a korf- a basket 3.5m high with no backboard.  Players constantly rotate between attacking and defending, preventing positional specialism.

The 21 participating schoolchildren–drawn from the ranks of around half a dozen schools- were initially split into teams for a round robin of friendly matches, before being put through their paces in a series of training exercises by volunteer coaches from Dundee Korfball Club.  The championship finale was split over two games, with Kinnoull triumphing 7-6 on aggregate, winning one match 4-2 and succumbing to a narrow 4-3 loss in the other.  Both teams were supported by a handful of players from Blairgowrie and Dundee junior clubs, and Auchterhouse Primary School.

Attendees were also treated to a demonstration match between Dundee Korfball Club and a team composed of players drawn from the Rest of Scotland, while a handful of parents gamely volunteered to try the sport for themselves in another friendly match.

The Scottish Schools Open was first held in 2013, with Fife’s Lawhead Primary emerging victorious.  This year’s event marked the culmination of an extensive programme of korfball coaching provided in schools by Nigel Cooper, Secretary of the Scottish Korfball Association (SKA).   Graham Robertson, Chair of the SKA, hailed the event as “another successful event organised by the ever-ambitious Nigel Cooper”.  Robertson, who himself provided coaching and refereeing services, praised the good turnout of children and the Festival’s positive impact on not only the children, but also the adult volunteers.

“Having attended myself I found my enthusiasm for the sport being reinvigorated by the infectiousness of the local participants and those committed members of Dundee Korfball Club”.

The Scottish Korfball Association would like to thank SportDundee for funding this year’s Festival of Korfball.  In addition thanks are extended to the many schools and teachers who welcomed korfball into their curricula over the last few months, especially Suzie Bee (Kinnoulll Primary School) and Hillary Whittaker (Dunbarney Primary School).  Finally, the SKA would like to thank the many volunteers from Dundee, Glasgow and Edinburgh City korfball clubs who assisted with the Festival’s organisation, in particular Nigel Cooper whose tireless dedication ensured the success of the day.

Dundee Korfball Club currently runs junior sessions in Dundee (Thursdays 1730 – 1830) and Blairgowrie (Saturdays 1000 – 1100), as well as a satellite club at Birkhill Primary School (Tuesdays 1530 – 1630).  For more information about these sessions, please contact dundee@korfball.org.uk.