Ely Vikings Korfball Club are conquering the hearts and minds of young and old athletes alike with their addictive brand of sport, fostering gender equality and all-round skills.
Now the Vikings, who play at Ely College on Monday nights, are looking to boost their members.
Last year their first senior team won the overall Cambridgeshire Korfball League championship for the first time in its 10 year history. The club also has a growing junior section which plays regular tournaments. Nine Vikings players have gone on to represent England at international level.
Originating in Holland and now played in 57 countries, korfball is played by teams of four female players and four male players in a rectangular field. The aim is to shoot a ball into a korf (basket).
Those participating get to play in defence and attack several times in each match. The game, which has characteristics similar to netball and basketball, is designed to encourage co-operative play and controlled physical contact.
Ely Vikings recently demonstrated their skills at Ely’s first Health and Happiness Day at Pocket Park last month.
After the under 14’s first round of fixtures for this season, they sit at number four in the table and are 3rd top goalscorers in the national league.
Ely Vikings Korfball Club was founded during the summer of 2006 by Lee Mathews. His aim was to build a successful club to win the local Cambridgeshire league and be the best team in the area, with a huge emphasis on junior development to give the club sustainability for the future. It was a very successful first season with its two initial teams finishing mid table and the size of the club growing.
By the start of the second season, the club had doubled its teams. This rapid growth and player development helped the 1st team finish runners-up in the Cambridgeshire Korfball Association Division 2 within two years of the club being founded.
Alongside the adult teams, a Vikings Junior Section was formed with the aim of giving players the key skills and techniques to enable them to hit the ground running when they were old enough to play in the adult leagues.
The 2008/09 season was the club’s best season, as they went on to win their first league title, winning CKA Division 2. Ever since then, the club have always had a team in the top division of the CKA.
The Ely Vikings meet each Monday evening at the gym at Ely College. Juniors (aged 7-13) play from 6pm to 7pm and seniors play from 7pm-9pm. No previous experience is required and the first session is free.
For more information see http://www.elyvikings.com/