The korfball season in the UK is well-and-truly underway with Surrey's finest korfball team in action across the country.
Guildford Thunder's open weekend saw it's first ever game in the Western Regional League against Cardiff Raptors. A closely fought game saw Raptors best Thunder, but it was a valiant first long-distance competitive trip to Wales for the club, racking up 15 goals in total.
The same day, an early start saw the third team, Lightning, rack up a win against Southampton City Spartans 3. It wasn't all fun though as the Spartans' second team gave the Guildford development squad a solid korfball lesson and painful goal difference of 21-2.
Second team, Storm, started the season in Basingstoke last weekend, with a win against the Bulls' third team and a close defeat to their second team. The closeness of the loss means a bonus point putting Storm on 5 league points, with Lightning on 4.
This weekend sees Thunder host local rivals Jets, while Storm travel to Southampton to hopefully pick up more points on the road.
The following weekend sees a return to home games for all teams with visits from Exeter City and Basingstoke Bulls.
Guildford Thunder started the season off in the same style it ended last season: with a trophy!
With 2 teams heading to Reading for the Chris Carter Cup last weekend, Guildford hopes were high for success.
Not everything went to plan, however, with the second team - Storm - losing all the games in the morning.
The morning was also difficult for the first team, which also failed to progress to the elite group in the afternoon.
With pride at stake, the afternoon saw the 2 Guildford teams battle out a dramatic 5-all draw, with the second team ahead for the early part of the game.
The tight fixture spurred the firsts on to winning ways, with them qualifying for the Shield final, which they went on to win on penalties.
This weekend sees 2 Guildford teams play in the Chris Carter Cup, with the first league korfball games for all teams starting in early October.
The club hopes to build on last season's excellent performance and growth - keeping the newly promoted first team in the regional league and moving the second team up into OKA division 1.
More focussed outdoor summer training plus competitive korfball tournaments across England (and the Netherlands) should give us a great boost to our skills and fitness at the start of the season.
Guildford Thunder Korfball Club took to Sutherland Memorial Park in Burpham last week, to demonstrate korfball to health-seeking crowds.
A team of 6 displayed our talents with some excellent distance shooting and runners, all done with expert commentary over the festival PA.
The demo was part of the annual Burpham Wellfest which showcases local wellbeing, fitness and socially conscious organisations from around Guildford and the wider Surrey area.
The club attended the festival as part of its ongoing recruitment drive and community outreach activities as it looks to grow in numbers and reputation in and around Guildford.
Our stand and pitch attracted an array of adults and juniors. These included lots of keen junior basketballers who got quite competitive - as did a number of the dads!
Thanks to all members who came out to support our stall and the demo at the festival.
Wellfest is run by Burpham Wellbeing and we look forward to returning for Wellfest 2024!
Guildford Thunder will be supporting youth community sports this weekend as it demoes korfball to local kids.
Hosted at the Sports Park, the Specsavers Surrey Youth Games lets children from across the county try a new sport for free.
From 9 on Saturday, kids will be able to try out more than just korfball: climbing, Soft archery, fencing, skateboarding, martial arts, dance and circus skills will all be on offer.
The Games is the biggest multi-sport youth programme of its kind in south-east England.
The Games are for beginners who may not get the chance to attend clubs, or are inactive and put off by the thought of competing against others. The focus is on joining in, having a go and having fun, to learn new skills and boost confidence.
Check out the video of Surrey Youth Games 2022.
Summer tournaments are always fun and there are plenty of opportunities left to get some match time before next season starts in earnest.
See all the pictures of the day's events in our photo gallery.
We're going up! Guildford Thunder promoted to Western Regional League korfball after 2023 playoffs in Bristol
Guildford Thunder Korfball Club's first team has clinched promotion to the Western Regional League for the 2023/24 season.
Thunder succeeded in winning 2 out of 3 playoff games in the playoffs at City Academy Bristol last weekend putting them up at the expense of relegated Gloucester Lions.
First up, Thunder beat Cardiff Raptors 2 by 11 to 7, followed up by a 13 to 10 win against Lions. The final game saw a 12 to 10 loss to Exeter City 1 meaning Thunder, City and Raptors were all promoted.
The 2 victories and the closeness of the defeat suggest some optimism for the coming WRL season for the league's easternmost club.
Western Regional League
Despite the potential long journeys and the added pressure of playing against the shot-clock, Guildford is cementing its position as a force to be reckoned with in the growing sport of korfball.
The WRL consists of teams from Exeter, Cardiff, Bristol, Oxford and neighbouring Farnborough.
It is the third tier of national korfball and is a stepping stone to the promotional division and, ultimately, the premier division.
Thunder reached the playoffs after winning division 1 of the Oxfordshire Korfball League with 51: 7 points more than closest rivals Oxford City 2.
Guildford's White House pub saw yet another fun-packed Thunder awards ceremony and annual meeting this Thursday (4 May 2023).
With nearly all members in attendance, and a 50% increase in membership since last year, it was a night full of cameraderie and team-spirit.
With an eye-on next season, members voted in a new club constitution, elected new committee members and heard from the coaches on individual and team amazing progress and challenging ambitions.
But most of all, we had some grub, a few drinks, a fun quiz and handed out a bunch of well-deserved medals.
A big thank you to everyone for being part of this amazingly successful, growing and inclusive club this year.
Those award winners in full
Simon (1st team), Michael (2nd team), Ben (3rd team)
Best supporting players
Alec (1st team), Rob D (2nd team), Rob F (3rd team)
Hayleigh and Tilly
Worst shoe tying
And of course ... the quiz winners
For all the pictures see the night's image gallery.
The stand-out achievement is - of course - our first team's performance in winning Division 1 and reaching the promotion play-offs. This is all the sweeter, given that at the end of the 2021-22 season, Guildford Thunder were a whisker away from relegation. It's all the more incredible given the season-opening Chris Carter Cup saw the team finish only third.
And this success for the first team has not affected the second team performance with a creditable fourth place in a highly competitive Division 2.
Of course, the success of our teams is due in no small part to our coaches, and it's been a real strength to be able to have expanded in such a well-supported way.
But what's next?
As the playoffs beckon, we plan for what happens if the first team is promoted, and how we support the second team to promotion and bringing the third team up to a truly competitive level.
All fun problems to have for a successful and expanding club.
Roll on the summer friendly tournaments, the cup and the new season! Party!
Guildford Thunder Korfball Club sealed the league championship on Sunday (12 March), with two hard-fought wins against Southampton City.
The fast-paced games saw Guildford win 17-9 against Southampton’s first team and 21-9 against the second Southampton squad.
After 14 games, Thunder racked up league 51 points - losing only a single game all season.
The team scored a total of 244 goals in the 2022-23 season.
The victory is a huge turnaround for the team which only avoided relegation last season by a single win.
Promotion play-offs now beckon!
News from around the Guildford Thunder family.
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