Perth perfect for handball

Beach handballers, from left, Bronwyn Smith, manager Rikke Petersen, Denise Westhaueusler, Christie Suggate, Oliver Machell and Will Davidson. d404146
Beach handballers, from left, Bronwyn Smith, manager Rikke Petersen, Denise Westhaueusler, Christie Suggate, Oliver Machell and Will Davidson. d404146

The 25-year-old University of WA student, who has played handball her entire life, moved to Perth from Germany over six years ago.

She was elected a Handball West’s president last year and is working to promote the sport.

‘I really wanted to continue this great sport (in Perth) and was looking for an opportunity to play and train,’ she said.

Westhaeusler founded the Curtin Handball Club, with the team scoring silver in the 2009 Tertiary Sports WA as well as gold in the 2010 Tertiary Sports WA and Australian University Games.

She said the UWA Handball Club was established around the same time.

‘The sport reached out to not only European players but also to the locals and has reached a whole new young community,’ she said.

‘The Olympics are a boost for the sport as well. We have two indoor seasons going after the university calendar and one outdoor season.

‘Beach handball has developed to a very competitive sport and since it has been introduced, Australia has never missed the World Championships.’

She said four WA players had been selected to represent Australia at the Beach Handball World Games in Cali, Colombia from next week.

‘Further to that, WA is the home of the men’s head coach for the Australian Beach Handball team (Boris Mensing) and the three team managers,’ she said.

Mensing (35), said it was great to see the development and growth of the sport in Australia over the past years.

‘Australia has got a great opportunity to achieve great results on an international level,’ he said.