Handball has always been a popular and thriving sport in the Drumkeerin area. The area already boasts a purpose built handball alley, which is situated at Drumkeerin GAA ground. The voluntary board of management which take care of the running of this facility have led the way for many improvements, most notably the creation of a brand new community gym along with large shower and changing facilities for men and women.
Although this facility has been open to the public since October 2009, it is now fully completed. These improvements were made possible by grants from The National Lottery through the Department of Sports and Tourism, the EU Programme for Peace and Reconciliation in Northern Ireland and Border Regions through Leitrim County Council and the RDP Programme and EAFRD Europe Investing in Rural Areas through Leitrim Development Company.
The match funding for these improvements was raised locally, through the tireless fund-raising of committee members, holding events such as ‘Who Want to be a Thousandaire?’ and the ‘Alternative Rose’ competition, along with table quizzes, charades and raffles. Fund-raising is held on a continuous basis in order to make this a sustainable community project.
The Handball, Sports and Leisure Club Ltd., employ one full-time and two part-time members of staff as part of an employment scheme, funded by Pobal. Staff members take care of building maintenance and also supervise gym use and take bookings for the handball alley, they allow the facility to be open 9.30am-10pm Monday to Friday.
The gym incorporates two exercise bikes, four treadmills, two gliders, a rowing machine, exercise balls, a multi gym, and numerous free weights. The handball alley section of the building is also available for indoor soccer, volley ball, badminton and indoor tennis.
This coming year we will be starting a range of exercise classes for all ages, including circuit training, line dancing, Pilates and boxercise. Now that the facility is complete, it is hoped that the local community will support it by using the gym and the handball alley and taking part in exercise classes. The gym and handball alley is open to all members of the public, everyone is welcome!