“GAA Handball is coming home” In an era where the sport of handball has witnessed unprecedented growth throughout Ireland and around the world, the 2012 World Handball Championships is already set to be the biggest and most innovative International Handball event in history. The launch of GAA Handball Ireland’s “Strategic Vision for the Future, 2011-2016” document in September 2011 highlighted the massive progress being made by our organisation. In the space of 24 months, GAA Handball has seen an increase of 26% in new clubs, 164 new One Wall facilities in Schools launched and an increase of 34% in official membership.
Internationally a similar pattern is evolving. When the last World Handball Championships were held in Portland, Oregon (USA), a total of 1,214 competitors from 15 countries around the World were present. Following the planning, development and launch of a new unified International Handball Federation (spearheaded by GAA Handball Ireland), there will now be a targeted 2,000 competitors from 33 countries present at the 2012 Worlds.
In light of such a rapid incline in the sport in Ireland and with the immense backing provided by the GAA, our organisation have therefore embarked upon hosting one of the most exciting World Sporting Events to be staged in Ireland in the 2012 calendar year. This includes erecting an innovative and ambitious purpose-built championship arena in the Citywest Convention Centre to stage the entire event in one campus – another first for the sport internationally. By calling upon the vast experience within the sport of hosting major international events, engaging the huge network of volunteers available to implement the plans and with the support of the GAA, Sports Council and other key organisations, GAA Handball is set to leave an indelible mark in the national sporting arena by the end of this event.
Our theme of “GAA Handball is coming home” will very much highlight how the sport of handball originated in Ireland and now returns for a rebirth in a new era for the game. Overall, GAA Handball Ireland have carried out extensive research and development to ensure that the hosting of the 2012 World Handball Championships will have an amazing impact for the sport at all levels and provide a new-style of infrastructure which could pave the way for even greater growth in the years ahead.
The One Wall Nationals is testament to the rapid rise of the sport in Ireland and now sees a move from the west to the Citywest Convention Arena over the weekend of 6th to 8th July in 2012. The reason – well to utilise this opportunity which will see in excess of 600 players complete in the same arena in which the World Championships will be staged!
There will also be four of the 40×20 handball courts to be used in the Worlds constructed and in place for trial – including games from the 2012 Féile na nGael (taking place in Dublin on 5th/6th July) taking place in those.
Overall another fantastic occasion is in store and a terrific opportunity for GAA Handball fans everywhere to witness first hand what is in store at this year’s World Handball Championships. We hope you attend (playing, officiating or simply enjoying the action!). The TV cameras will again be there to film for our own branded “GAA Handball Show” on TG4. Another great occasion and one which we hope will make it’s mark in what is building up to an incredible year in the GAA Handball chronicles!
Monaghan has representatives in most grades at this years one-wall nationals. We have some exceptional talent and will be hoping for some great results. Representing the county will be Cailean Myles & Eoghan Mc Ginnity in under 11 boys,Justas Dambinskas in under 13 boys, Mark Mc Donald in under 15 boys, Darren Doherty & Ramunas Ramanauskas in under 17 boys,Terry Mc Elvaney under 19 boys, Louise Mc Ginnity in under 11 girls, Pete Larkin in emerald masters, Conor Mc Donald in golden masters, Paul Cassidy in silver masters, Jonathan Mc Kenna Reamon Martin Darragh Larney & John Moen in men’s challenger,Christopher Mc Kenna in under 23B. Best of luck to all.
Feile Na Gael. As we are reading these notes today our The Feile na nGael team are in action in the Competition at The City West Hotel in Dublin, they will playing in the alleys which will be used for the World Championships in October, the club and parish would like to wish the team of James Mc Kenna(SH), Gary Mc Kenna(D), Aaron Mohan, Ryan Mohan, Gary Mohan and Cormac Mc Kenna(SH) along with coaches Michael Mc Carron and Michael Todd all the best during the 2 days play in Dublin. Parents of the players also have travelled so lets hope all have an enjoyable and successful time away. Full match reports next week.
Summer Play. As we have seen over the past month the weather has not been kind to us for outdoor activities so why not pop into the alleys and have some light exercise in dry warm conditions.