Irish women’s handball back in the spotlight

An Irish women’s team will play international handball for the first time in a decade on 22-24 March at Gormanston College.

This new generation of young Irish player will take on Great Britain and Belgium in a tri-nations tournament, taking place alongside the IOHA Cup on 23/24 March, with the international matches serving as the highlight of each day.

The Irish squad is primarily an under 19 selection with the addition of a few older players, in order to begin the process of establishing a senior team and add experience to the young squad for their first international outing.

These matches are the result of years of hard work to promote women’s handball, led by IOHA Technical Director Andrea Ongaro, the IOHA Board’s Women’s Handball Representative Bettina Bordas, Olena Karpenko and the entire Women’s Handball Development Committee.

Following the ever-increasing international presence of the senior men’s team in recent years and the establishment of men’s under 18 and 16 squads, the board felt the natural progression was to replicate it with women’s teams.
Stepping out of the comfort zone

“The project started in 2017 with under 17, under 15 girls and younger. The progress has been slowly but surely coming together and we believe there is a lot of potential in Ireland for women’s handball. If we put the right resources behind them we can achieve good results.

“This is a friendly tournament which serves as stepping stone to a different way of thinking, where our players step out of the comfort zone of their clubs and are made aware of the higher demand of the international stage. This is the main growth we are looking for,” says Andrea Ongaro.

Ireland take on Great Britain on Friday 22 March, GB then face Belgium on Saturday, before Ireland and Belgium wrap up the weekend on Sunday 24 March.

This first step onto the international stage is also part of preparations for the IHF Under 19 Trophy in November.

“It is an opportunity to give more exposure to the project with the intent to recruit more young players, particularly in the under 19 down to under 15 age groups.

“It would be fantastic to see former players to come back to handball and support the project,” concludes Ongaro.

Sport Ireland