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Handball fever hits St Ciaran’s!

Thursday 11.10.2012
Team Talk Mag
Club


St Ciaran’s Ballygawley, renowned for producing legendary footballers over the years, has embraced the sport of handball in a massive way in the last few years and will have a strong representation at the 2012 world handball championships in the Citywest arena in Dublin over the next ten days.
The school is fortunate to have All-Ireland champions such as Brackey pair, Johnny Woods and Jack Campbell, among their students but the sport is spreading rapidly throughout the school, and to places like Killeeshil, Augher and Ballygawley.
“Handball has become the one of the fastest growing sports I have ever witnessed here in St Ciaran’s,” says Bronagh Kelly from the PE department. “We simply can’t meet the demand for wall space and, on a more practical level, keeping the pupils supplied with handballs.
“What really impresses me about this sport is that everyone can play it at their own level,” explained Bronagh. “We have pupils really excelling at handball who in the past have taken little or no interest in any other sport that we offered. This has opened up new opportunities for them as some have been involved in the inter-school handball tournaments organised in Tyrone last year, allowing them to create new friendships and contacts.

“Handball has received a really positive response from the whole school community and l would even go as far as to say that many parents have expressed their delight at their child becoming involved in the sport. The school management team have been very supportive in helping us put up the walls and promote the sport.
“Keeping pupils active and involved in sport is a priority here in St Ciaran’s,” continued Bronagh. “It is amazing to see how pupils have mapped out their own playing areas and identified their own playing partners during break and lunch time. There would appear to be an unspoken rule that no one takes over another’s territory! 

“It is obviously very exciting to have Jack Campbell representing Ireland and St Ciaran’s,” stated Bronagh. “This gives our pupils a really special interest in the world championships and makes the whole experience very real for us. Jack, Mattie (McSorley) and of course Johnny (Woods) are great ambassadors for the sport and super role models here in school. All our players aspire to be like them.
“Obviously the world championships are going to motivate all our young players and it can only bring handball mania to fever pitch in St Ciaran’s! The school can only go from strength to strength now. We certainly have the interest, enthusiasm and talent to live up to our new found status in handball.

“Having players of the calibre of Johnny and Jack in the school really drives the others on, and winning a world title this year would certainly give all our young players something to work for in the future,” concluded Bronagh.

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