Loughmacrory GAA Handball Club (Tyrone) will officially launch their new One Wall Handball Complex this weekend (Saturday 28th & 29th June) as part of an opening weekend ceremony which will see the complete £1m project open to the public. The Handball club has a very close synergy with the Loughmacrory GAC and Community Development Association and the groups combined to bring a fantastic Development Project to the area which now comprises football field, new 500 seater stand, running track, lakeside development, Loughview Centre with Gym overlooking the Lough in addition to the One Wall Handball Complex.
Former CEO of GAA Handball Ireland and current Chairman of Loughmacrory Handball Club, Chris Curran, feels that this is another significant step forward for Loughmacrory GAA Handball Club and the sport in general. “The One Wall Schools national initiative was launched in 2010 and continues to expand exponentially with this code of handball witnessing unprecedented growth and expansion in Ireland and around the world, with over 33 countries now competing in One Wall Handball internationally. The continued excellent work being carried out by Croke Park on this initiative will no doubt see this grow even further in the years ahead. Our club has a terrific team of people together who have worked hard to ensure that we are providing adequate facilities for our enthusiastic youth base in the community and the fact that this facility is fully covered, with lighting, yet is wholly open and accessible all the time is a major breakthrough in engaging that interest further.”
Loughmacrory club have also just completed a refurbishment of the 40×20 court with new roof (indoor and outdoor) and lighting as well as new back-wall, showers and changing facilities in recent times. This was utilised fully when hosting the Girls Division 2 and 1 matches in Feile na nGael last weekend. Added to that is the club’s 60×30 court, which also had a new roof installed in recent years, thus providing the club the opportunity to provide all codes of the sport of GAA Handball to members.
The club chairman though is in no doubt of the benefits of engaging with other groups in the community for this project. “The beauty of the structure is that it is not only a One Wall Handball Centre of Excellence which will attract major provincial, national and possibly international events in the future to Loughmacrory, but that it also provides a wide range of other benefits as a Multi-purpose community facility and this has brought a brilliant synergy of all the various groups in the area. The Ulster One Wall Championship Tournament will be the first event to be staged here this weekend and will see 160 players from 7 counties in the province challenge for top honours, providing a very exciting start to a new era of the game in the community”.
Various things planned include the upcoming Ulster One Wall Championships on Saturday 28th/Sunday 29th June, Summer Scheme Coaching day on Tuesday 15th July as well as a Summer GAA Handball Coaching Camp from 12th-14th August and followed by a Club Open One Wall Handball Tournament from 15th-17th August 2014 (Grades from Under 11 up to Golden Masters, male and female)
Spec of facility: The actual facility is 108 feet x 47.5 feet in size (36m x 14.5m). It is a full galvanised steel structure, fully covered with lighting inside, with concrete floor and the standard marine ply wooden front walls installed. The rear and right side of the court has been left open for viewing with a perimeter fence installed for safety and keeping balls from going out. There is 12ft (4m) between the courts on the inside and 13 feet from the back line to the fence at the rear of the court. Further details can be found from the official Loughmacrory website at www.loughmacrory.com