Ulster GAA has appointed Fiona Shannon as its first Handball Development Officer.
A winner of three consecutive World Ladies titles, a record nine All-Ireland Singles and 10 All-Ireland Doubles titles, the former Antrim and St Paul’s ace is hoping to extend her considerable expertise and experience to grow the game throughout Ulster.
The role is the first of its kind at provincial level in the GAA, and Fiona will work closely with Ulster GAA Handball and National Handball to develop programmes in schools, drive initiatives to maximise participation in clubs, improve school-club links and increase membership across the province.
Other responsibilities include promoting and developing the Schools’ 1-Wall and ‘Healthy Handball in Clubs’ initiatives, as well as coordinating a province-wide Coach and Referee Education programmes and overseeing the Ulster Handball Academy that will ensure player pathways for all counties.
Funding support for the role was provided by the Department for Communities, through the Start Here grants programme.
Commenting on the appointment, Ulster GAA President Ciaran McLaughlin said:
“We are delighted to welcome Fiona into this newly created Handball Development Officer role with Ulster GAA, and we wish her well.”
“Handball hasn’t always received the focus that it deserves and Fiona’s remit will be to help sustain the game in the clubs that are already working hard at it, but also to develop new clubs across the province in a sport that can be easily played, and can assist children and adults with their agility, balance and co-ordination.”