2020 was an incredibly difficult year for handball and other sports like ours. The restrictions imposed on us due to Covid-19 has meant the cancelling of all adult training since October and the interruption of our youth training and league schedule in November, and again in January. Now that Birmingham is in Tier 4, youth training has been cancelled which pushes the playing of league fixtures for our girl's youth team further into the future. It also makes the return of adult training less likely over the next few weeks.
However, the start of 2021 brings some hope for the future. The medical professions have done wonders throughout the pandemic and the prospect of vulnerable people being vaccinated over the next few months brings the possibility of returning to a more "normal" life a reality. What that will look like is difficult to know, but it is likely that the vaccines will reduce the risks enough to allow people to return to playing competitive team sports like handball sometime in the summer. All this is presuming that new strains of the virus respond to the vaccines and that the numbers of people infected reduces to a safer level.
However, if and when we do return, as a club, we are in a good position. Returning to play will enable us to reach out more to local schools and strengthen our boys and girls youth sections, where we have some very talented youth players. We have some good youth coaches and their work over the last year or so has already born fruit, with some of our youth players being accepted onto the Midlands Regional Academies. Both our adult teams did well in their first competitive season last year, with the men only losing one game and finishing second and the women ending in mid table in their respective leagues. We are learning all the time and whilst losing some players this season, we also expect to add some new players which will strengthen both the men and women's teams.
So, there is hope! If we can survive through to the restart of training, 2021 promises to be a more positive and productive year than 2020. We will see.