Handballers Keep the Sport Alive at Flamingo Park


A group of Miami seniors were featured in The New York Times for their handball traditions in South Beach. In case you don't know, handball is a sport where players pass a ball using their hands, aiming to throw it into the goal of the other team. Read below for an excerpt of the article.

Nestled in the heart of South Beach, Flamingo Park has been a haven for handballers in South Florida since the 1970s. A half-mile from Miami Beach’s party scene, the quiet handball courts here have seen their share of world champions and are home to a consistent crew of players, most of them between the ages of 60 and 80. Fifty years of play have battered the once-vibrant pastel walls of the courts, which are now primed with a fresh coat of white paint. But you’re still likely to find the same motley crews and trash talkers of years past.

Aside from typical banter and arguments about the score, conversations often revolve around health — both physical and the health of the game. Hand surgeries, knee issues, bypass surgeries and car accidents are all fair game for the trash talking (and excuse-making). There’s an endearing camaraderie within the group that keeps people coming back.

The game has helped the current crew defy their ages, but some of them fear a lack of younger faces will eventually catch up to the sport. Concerns about the health of four-wall handball have seemingly been around for as long as the old courts of Flamingo Park, but the question remains: Can the sport survive with only occasional late bloomers joining the fray, or will younger players be needed to keep the game alive? For now, a group of older ambassadors will carry the torch.

To read the entire piece, click here.

This was originally published in The New York Times by Alexander Aguiar.

Photo from miamiandbeaches.com.

STAY FIT 305 is a local fitness news site dedicated to all things health and wellness in South Florida - where to train, who to train with, tips from the pros, healthy places to eat, events happening around town, and more.

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