With all activities in sports suspended right across the globe, supporters of handball in Ireland are already looking towards the time when the courts across the country will be busy again.
Hopefully, that won’t be too far off. From a Kilkenny point of view, the completion of the juvenile national championships should be interesting because they could be as fruitful as they have been in recent years.
Over the past number of years Kilkenny juveniles have enjoyed tremendous success, winning All-Ireland and national championships at regular intervals.
During that time the county has won numerous All-Ireland titles in the boys and girls grades, and it continues to produce top class exponents of the sport.
As we write, county players have qualified for nine All-Ireland finals in the 4 Wall championships.
This success in the juvenile grades does not come about by chance. There is a huge effort put in by volunteers in the clubs all over the county.
During these successful times, clubs around the county are putting in big efforts to promote handball at all levels from under-10 upwards.
With competitive county championships promoting the strong development of the juvenile players, the county is always well prepared when meeting the challenges of the Leinster and All-Ireland series.
Each year the club and county coaches invest a huge amount of time ensuring that handball in Kilkenny remains at the top of the ladder. All clubs in the county are contributing players to the inter-county scene, and there is a continuous effort by all involved to raise standards.
Along with victories in the All-Ireland championships, the county has enjoyed serious success in other juvenile competitions in recent years.
In the team events, Kilkenny has been the dominant county in recent years with numerous wins in the under-12/13 and under-14/15 grades.
In the annual Gael Linn tournament, Kilkenny was in line for a fourth successive win by clubs this year, while in the ever popular She’s Ace event the county has had its successes too.
In second level colleges handball, the schools in Kilkenny have enjoyed numerous wins in all the grades. With a strong emphasis on girls handball within Kilkenny, the county has provided the backbone of the inter-provincial squad since the start of the competition.
All in all, the juvenile handball scene in Kilkenny is a very healthy state as the county looks forward with confidence to the resumption of activities.
The Handball Board has extended a huge ‘thank you’ to players, coaches, supporters and parents for keeping going and keeping Kilkenny at the top of the pile.
For more on Kilkenny People sport read here.