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Paul Bray with the EHA Lifetime Achievement Award.

By Secretary Account

Paul Bray was well deservedly awarded for his huge contributions, spanning more than 40 years, to handball in England.

Paul Bray has been a passionate supporter and advocate of English and British handball for over 40 years. Initially as a player and founding member of Great Danes, Paul went on to play for Great Britain and then joined Bill Holderness on the coaching team of the Great Britain women team in the 1980’s/ 90’s.

Paul has done a fantastic job of bringing handball alive in the UK through his commentary of major international tournaments on TV since 1989 and was of course a key figure for the British Handball Association for our two teams at the London Olympics, driving the strategy and dealing with UK Sport to try and secure further funding as chair now of BHA.

One of his greatest legacies is the setting up of Ealing Junior handball club in 2012 with initially just an U14 boys team. Paul was head coach at Ealing for the first 4 years before instigating coaches from Ruislip Eagles, to ensure the further growth. 7 seasons later the club merged and formed West London Eagles with now arguably one of the countries strongest junior set ups in U16 and U19 boys and girls. This year all four junior teams reached the national play off semi finals with the U16 boys taking gold and the U19 girls taking silver: all because of Paul’s drive to start a junior club on the back of London 2012.

Paul has also been responsible for driving Ealing boroughs involvement with handball at the London Youth Games where the team has now won 4 gold medals. Paul along with JC Lacour has set up multiple school community programmes to promote handball in West London, leading to a great recruitment of young players to the sport, to the club, to regional academy and this year into GB.

Paul was a principal architect in developing a successful partnership between Ealing, West London Eagles and a Danish club which sees top Danish coaches come to London twice a year to coach handball not just at the club but in the local schools. This collaboration also ensures coach education for all the club coaches and local teachers. Paul was Ealings Chair until 2018, following the merger but is now a key member of the board at WLE.

He has invested a huge amount of time and energy into the successful running and development of junior handball alongside his brilliant commentary work for handball on TV and for the EHA and alongside his work as chair of British Handball Association.

Updated 09:01 - 23 Jun 2019 by Secretary Account

Where next?

Handball In The Park 2019 Yearly event Handball in the park comes back on 28th of July, this time to be held at Gunnersbury Park.
Two Eagles with the EHA player of the year award! Two West London Eagles players, Sunniva Ovstebo Naess and Zoe Lacour, have been chosen players of the year 2019.

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