Title

Notre Dame student announced as vice-captain of Australian beach handball squad

Document Type

Media Release

Publication Date

Fall 5-23-2012

Publisher Name

The University of Notre Dame Australia

Publication Place

Fremantle

Abstract

A former touch football player and first year Medicine student at The University of Notre Dame Australia’s Fremantle Campus has been selected as vice-captain for the Australian team which will compete at the 2012 Beach Handball World Championships in Oman this July.

Andrew Mills, 30, said he was “pleasantly surprised” at the announcement and hoped to represent Australia with pride at the exciting six-day tournament which is expected to attract large crowds.

Mr Mills, the only Western Australian player selected in the team, will attempt to create history under the expert guidance of national men’s beach handball coach Boris Mensing, who is also from WA.

He was selected as vice-captain due to his strong performances and leadership qualities exhibited whilst at the national training camps with other athletes of the Australian beach handball squad.

Beach handball matches consist of two 10 minute halves amidst a vibrant atmosphere of loud music and other forms of family fun.

“Another thing that sets beach handball apart from its indoor variant is the inclusion of trick shots,” Mr Mills said.

“If players can score a goal after performing a 360 degree manoeuvre, their team is awarded two points. Two points are also awarded to teams that can score with an alley-oop shot - where one player throws the ball to a teammate who jumps up, catches it in mid-air and scores a goal.”

Mr Mills was drawn to the unique sport having felt that he needed another challenge after playing touch football for 15 years.

He had only been playing handball for two seasons before he was selected in the Australian beach handball squad for the 2010 World Championships in Turkey.

Despite finishing the 2010 tournament winless and in last place, Mr Mills said the Australian team was well prepared to challenge for its maiden victory against the world’s best in just over a month.

He says player fitness in the warm Middle Eastern conditions will play a big part to ensure Australia’s progression past the group stage of the tournament.

“I try to complete as much fitness training as possible. Running, jumping and moving quickly on sand for 10 minutes each half can be quite challenging,” Mr Mills said.

“As a beach handball player, you need to be fairly fit, creative and have a good sense of awareness in order to pass to your teammates quickly and effectively. Players also have another big role – to entertain the audience.”

Australia have drawn a challenging pool for the qualifying matches, including host nation Oman, the world number six Russia, and the world champions Brazil.

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