University Post
University of Copenhagen
Independent of management


Netball team always Danish champions

There is just one netball team in Denmark, so if they want to play a match, they have to take a passport. The University Post explores a sport that is popular with internationals, but which is the country’s least played

Netball is not the most high profile sport in Denmark, or anywhere else for that matter. There is only one netball club in Denmark – the Copenhagen Netball Club.

Joining them for a practice session, I am trying to get a grasp of the rules. And it occurs to me that there are a lot of them.

Basketball meets handball

»Uh! What are they doing now?«

Australian Emma O’Callahan explains what is happening on court.

»You can say it is a mix between basketball and handball. There is a basket, which is the goal, and the rules do not allow body contact,« she says, making it all sound very straightforward.

I try my best to follow what is going on, but I discover that it is hard to learn a never-before-seen sport.

The two teams, in their yellow and blue vests, are moving about the court, apparently at random, and dribbling fast.

Roots down under

With a New Zealand-born founder, Sarah Andersen, the Copenhagen Netball Club has roots from far away – and particularly from down under.

At least four of the team’s members are Australian. The sport is popular in the Commonwealth-countries, and the Commonwealth Games have netball as part of the event. But everyone is welcome – Emma assures me.

»We do not want to exclude anyone. And we do not have any teams to play against, so there is no pressure on.«

International tournament

Being Denmark’s only netball team, they arranged an international tournament last year.

The tournament was a success, and this year it will be held in Stockholm, where the Danish team will play against teams from other countries.

However, being the only club in Denmark has its perks too. Michael Byrup, the chairman of the club, was commentator on the World Series for Eurosport!

The sports channel decided that Michael was an expert on the subject, and decided to hire him as a commentator on the World Netball Series last October.

Couples’ sport, with team spirit

Although the sport is enjoyed by a (very) small minority of Danes, it is popular elsewhere:

»I’ve read somewhere that netball is actually the most popular mixed sport,« Emma informs me.

And it is almost perfectly mixed – Copenhagen Netball Club counts five couples. But team spirit is still what counts.

»We have made good friends off the court as well. For example, we have arranged pub-crawls and other social things,« Emma emphasises.

If that doesn’t convince you that the minority sport is worth a try, she also tells me that, »you don’t have to be super fit, as each round only lasts for nine minutes«.

For more info about . Copenhagen Netball Club here

If you are interested in the netball rules, click here.