Europe comes to Stirling

This article has photo gallery Published on LEUT Michael Wheeler (author), ABIS Chris Beerens (photographer)

Location(s): HMAS Stirling

Topic(s): HMAS Stirling, European Handball

Lieutenant Tom Williams looks for passing options during HMAS Stirling's Monthly Sporting Event 'European handball'. (photo: ABIS Chris Beerens)
Lieutenant Tom Williams looks for passing options during HMAS Stirling's Monthly Sporting Event 'European handball'.

On the hottest September day for 30 years HMAS Stirling hosted a game more associated with the cooling climes of Northern Europe.

European handball is the sport of the month and as such the hockey field was transformed into a large handball court and echoed to the sounds of 'goal' and 'free throw'.

European handball as a game was developed at the end of the 19th century, chiefly in Scandinavia and Germany, and has been an Olympic sport since the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich.

Stirling's monthly sporting program is designed to not only improve health and wellbeing of ship's company, but also as a great way to bring together personnel from the many different areas of the base.

Able Seaman Clearance Diver Humphrey Macleod winds up for a shot a goal during HMAS Stirling's Monthly Sporting Event 'European handball'.

Able Seaman Clearance Diver Humphrey Macleod winds up for a shot a goal during HMAS Stirling's Monthly Sporting Event 'European handball'.


The competition was intense with teams competing for the right to be called the champions of European handball for another year. Chief Petty Officer Gary Ward was particularly impressed by the skills of those who participated.

"It's really a good game to watch and the skill levels that we have among the teams here at Stirling is impressive," he said.

"There is just the right amount of physicality to the game and its the type of game that only works well when you operate as a team."

Overall winners on the day were Clearance Diving Team 4 with runners up the submarine crew of HMAS Waller. Commanding Officer Stirling Captain Angela Bond was on hand to present the trophy to the captain of the winning team.  

"The jumping shots for goal were a stand out for me," said Chief Petty Officer Ward.

"Overall, it was great to see the participation from all across Stirling with eight teams and how an activity like this can bring together personnel from different areas."