British handballer Hawkins joins Harrington on China coaching team
London 2012 Olympian Mark Hawkins is eagerly anticipating a step up in the world of handball coaching when he starts work with the China women’s handball team.
Hawkins has scored 135 goals in 60 matches for Great Britain and was part of the first British handball team to make an appearance at the Olympic Games.
The 31-year-old is currently head coach of the Great Britain under-20s team and will continue in this role as they prepare for the European and World Championships.
Hawkins, who previously played for Premier Handball League team West London Eagles, joins former Great Britain handball player Scott Harrington on the China team’s coaching staff.
Harrington landed the role as assistant coach just five days ago and Hawkins will join his compatriot on a three-year contract as a coach and the team’s lead analyst.
The British duo will help China prepare for the women’s World Championships in December, before the Asian Games next year.
But Olympic qualification will be top of the agenda and Hawkins is excited to face up to the task, though he admits it is difficult to leave his role as England Handball national performance manager.
"It's an amazing opportunity to step up to world-level senior international handball," he said.
"I'm really excited about the challenge and very appreciative to get the chance to develop myself further and be involved with coaching on a day-to-day basis.
"I've enjoyed my time at England Handball immensely and am grateful to have been able to work with all the players in the pathway - and to give something back to the sport.
"The athletes are improving so quickly year-on-year, and I look forward to following their future progress."