2,000 players from 33 countries set to attend World Handball Championships
Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport Leo Varadkar has announced that Fáilte Ireland is providing €100,000 in funding for the forthcoming World Handball Championships, which is being held in Ireland this year for the first time in nine years.
Some 2,000 players from more than 33 countries are expected to attend the championship when it’s staged at the Citywest Convention Centre in Dublin from 11th to 21st October.
Given that handball originated in Ireland, the 2012 championship is being seen as the global re-launch in the birthplace of the sport, which is known as ‘wallball’ outside of Ireland.
Minister Varadkar said he was delighted that Fáilte Ireland is in a position to support the event: ‘It’s great to see handball coming back home for this global re-launch. This promises to be an exciting tournament, with the world’s best players travelling to Ireland’.
“It’s also great news for the economy and for Irish tourism, with some 2,000 players and a further 1,000 coaches and officials likely to attend. The visiting players will stay an average of ten days, and every one of them will bring their own experience of Ireland back home with them.”
The CEO of GAA Handball Ireland, Chris Curran said: ‘GAA Handball Ireland are very excited to be hosting what has been labelled the most innovative handball event in history’.
“This is a monumental occasion for the Handball Association and under our theme of ‘Handball is coming home’ it is very significant that Fáilte Ireland and the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport are providing such fantastic support for what we believe is a new dawn for handball worldwide’.
Some 2,000 players are being targeted for the event, with almost two thirds of them expected to come from outside Ireland, including countries across Europe, Australia and Asia, as well as North and South America. A further 1,000 coaches and officials are also expected to attend.
• The World Handball Championships is held every three years.
• The last two events were held in Portland, Oregon (USA) in 2009 and in Edmonton, Canada in 2006.
• Although handball originated in Ireland, it is now played widely around the world.
• Ireland previously hosted the event in 1994 and 2003.
• The Championship has grown in size over the years. 2009 saw 15 countries participating (1,214 competitors) and the 2012 target is for 33 participating countries (2,000) competitors.