Saturday, 31 July 2010

Melhus IL (Norway)

Melhus Idrettslag are a general sports club from the village of the same name in the middle of Norway. They formed in 1898, and as well as the football, are notable for their handball, skiing, powerflifting, volleyball and orienteering. They currently play in 3. divisjon herrer, the fourth tier of the Norwegian game, which consists of 288 teams divided into 24 regional leagues.

The village itself is in the middle of a massive grain farming area, some 20 minutes from the city of Trondheim. The village's coat of arms features the legendary local archer Einar Tambarskjelve from the 11th century.

They play at the cute Gruva Stadium, a ground in the woods so small that it doesn't have an official capacity. Despite their long history, their senior team has very little but dust in the trophy cabinet. Instead, like many Norwegian teams, they have an extensive youth set up, with teams at all age groups, and work very closely with the local community. To Melhus, success is measured in the fitness and well-being of their local youth rather than the amount of silverware the first team has lifted - and tnhey seem quite happy plaodding along like that. What a thoroughly civilised place that Norway is.

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