European Handball Challenge Cup: Handball 'not a forgotten sport'

London GD handball team
London GD are hoping to reach the third round of the European Challenge Cup this weekend
European Handball Challenge Cup Round Two
Venue: Medway Park, Gillingham Dates: 13-14 October
Coverage: Saturday, 13 October from 17:20-19:30 BST on the BBC Sport website and app, connected TV

British handball's biggest problem is finding venues to play in rather than a lack of funding, according to the coach of one of its leading teams.

Miguel Puig Garcia's London GD will face Scottish side Livingston in the European Challenge Cup this weekend.

British handball has had little UK Sport funding since the 2012 Olympics.

"It's not a forgotten sport - but there are only three, maybe four, venues in London that can host a game," Puig Garcia told BBC Sport.

"We are really struggling to find venues to train and organise games in," said Puig Garcia.

"We've managed to get some help with training fees from Greenwich Leisure but we don't make that much money.

"Obviously we can't just build a venue from scratch - that would cost millions."

His view is echoed by Livingston captain Ross Gannon.

"It's not ideal in Scotland," he said. "We're lucky because we've got a big sports centre we can use - the Oriam at Heriot-Watt University - but other teams do struggle to find places to play."

The teams meet in Gillingham on Saturday and Sunday, with the first leg to be shown live on the BBC website and app, and Connected TV.

The game has been dubbed a 'Battle of Britain'.

A likely trip to Ukraine to face Donbas in the next round is the reward for the winners. London made the third round seven years ago after winning a qualifying tournament in Malta.

"If we win we will - probably - be playing both games there," said Puig. "There are visa issues for them. If we win, we would have to travel there at the end of November."

Another London club, Olympia, travel to Italy for the two legs of their tie against Pallamano Pressano this weekend.

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