The world’s most prolific handballers, representing over 30 countries, will converge on the Citywest Events Arena, in Dublin, this October for the most spectacular showpiece occasion in the sport’s history.
Ireland’s fastest growing sport, proud of its GAA heritage, has an ever expanding international appeal and is on the threshold of achieving Olympic status following the unification of the various forms of ‘handball’ established in many nations across the globe.
Worlds 2012 is without doubt the biggest handball festival that has ever been undertaken and excitement levels are mounting as the Irish handball community prepares to host this thrilling extravaganza from 11th to 20th October.
GAA Handball Ireland officially launched the prestigious event in Croke Park today as players and officials alike were given a preview of what to expect in the Citywest. “We are delighted to bring such a high profile sporting event to Ireland and with 2,000 players from over 30 countries travelling to Dublin, it is surely exciting times of the sport and indeed the country”, commented GAA Handball President, Walter O’Connor.
One of the huge attractions of the event is that it will be staged in a stunning purpose built arena, which will be able to facilitate almost 2000 participants and 5000 spectators (per day) over ten days of exhilarating competition.
Contestants will be aged from 8 to 80+, one of the unique and beautiful features of this extraordinary game. There will be world titles contested from under-11 to over-80 and the standards across the board promise to surpass anything witnessed before.
‘Handball’ will be returning to its roots in Worlds 2012, and putting on a breath-taking show that will illustrate all that is special about the sport and just how far it has come since its beginnings – although the increasingly popular one-wall element of handball is a clear reminder of how it all began.
Uachtarán CLG, Liam O’Neill, officially launched the championships, and highlighted how GAA handball is leading the way internationally for the Association. “It is fantastic to see one of our family of games make such giant strides in world sport and the growth of the one wall code of handball has very much been a major reason for that. In many ways this is the oldest form of handball and what is so exciting is that a sport which originated in the GAA is now growing rapidly in countries around the world and played at the highest level from so many players outside of Ireland” stated the GAA President.
Reigning World Handball Champions, Paul Brady and Fiona Shannon, are bidding for four successive world titles in a 9 year period and Brady is relishing this latest challenge “this is without doubt the best world handball event ever. The fact we will have 2,000 players playing in 21 courts in an arena where 5,000 spectators per day will be present is massive for the game. I cannot wait to begin my title defence and there is no doubt that the Citywest is the place to be this October”.