After years of hard work and patience, Claregalway Handball Club have turned the sod for their new 40x20 court. The alley will be built on a new site close to the village of Claregalway beside the GAA pitch and Community centre. The site is within walking distance of the expanding secondary school Colaiste Bhaile Chlair and the local National school.
The sod was turned by local T.D. Noel Grealish under the watchful eye of the club committee, players and local community. Construction will begin in earnest on Monday 20th June and is expected to take 6 months. The premises will contain a 40x20 court with glass back wall, spectator seating, kitchen and meeting room along with dressing rooms, toilets and an outdoor One Wall court. At present the club has already put up a One Wall court in the community centre and train in a 40x20 court in Carnmore, 2 miles away in the east of the parish.
The club has been working hard at increasing players through a good juvenile coaching programme. In addition the club has helped forge a strong handball presence in the local schools which is seen as a key point to the expansion of the club. The hard work paid off with Niamh Heffernan bringing home World titles last August and this year Niamh, along with Enda Collins and James Cummins reached All-Ireland juvenile finals.
Club secretary Joe O'Connell has said "The club has seen a massive growth numbers especially in the juvenile ranks in recent years and this new court will allow us to continue to grow our numbers and provide greater access to facilities for our members. "
The project is partly financed by the Sports Capital Programme and the remainder is being raised locally through fundraising efforts by the club.