Team GB handball coach on SportsDock and Olympics
07 July 2022
SportsDock at the University of East London (UEL) has been used to host a range of athletes and sports teams since it opened in May 2012.
Famously the sports complex in Docklands was the training base for Team USA during the London 2012 Olympics. However, they were not the only team to use SportsDock to help prepare for London 2012, as Team GB coaches and athletes used the world-class facilities to get in top shape for the Olympic Games.
One such team was the Great Britain handball team, who were competing in the Copper Box at the Olympic Park in Stratford, and therefore needed a local venue to train and prepare for matches.
As part of the University's London 2012 10-year anniversary celebrations, we interviewed Bill Baillie, Team GB men's handball assistant coach at London 2012, to talk about the Olympic legacy.
Baillie told us that SportsDock was like "manna from heaven", praising the facilities and the added benefits of having on-site strength and conditioning areas.
He also recalls the amazing atmosphere in the Copper Box (now home to University partners and professional basketball team London Lions), earning the venue the nickname 'the box that rocked' and goes into detail about how the Games in London were all about kick-starting an Olympic legacy for handball.
Baillie said, "For us, we viewed this as an opportunity for the sport to actually kick on and become a true legacy sport, not just words that were used to secure the Olympic Games. That was the way that I was envisioning things going. As soon as we knew the games were in London, for me, it was always going to be about the day after the Olympics finished.
It was tremendous for us. Just the actual volume of people that came out of that arena (Copper Box) with a positive opinion on the sport of handball, you know, we couldn't pay for that anywhere. So that for me was a real key factor."
Bill Baillie is one of Britain's most experienced handball coaches. He is currently Great Britain U19 women's head coach.
Watch the full interview
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