Champion handballer, Caitriona Casey, will online skills workouts for the Juvenile Development Youth Expo.
Champion handballer, Caitriona Casey, will online skills workouts for the Juvenile Development Youth Expo.

GAA Handball launch Juvenile Development Youth Expo

GAA Handball are delighted to launch their exciting new Juvenile Development Youth Expo, a month-long online series of talks, workouts, cooking demonstrations and competitions to keep juvenile members engaged and help them to fill the handball void in their lives at present.

The 2021 Youth Expo will see a range of top sportspeople from across the Gaelic Games family and from other sports share their thoughts, experiences and tips over a wide range of topics.

Beginning on the 5th April, Mindful Mondays will see a series of talks each Monday, presented by Grainne McElwain (Sky Sports) and Handball aficionado Paul Fitzpatrick, dealing with the emotional and psychological side of sport.

We are delighted to have Olympian Jessie Barr who will deal with coping with lockdown and impart her knowledge and advice on how to cope with being in lockdown. Longford senior footballer and former AFL player Mickey Quinn who works as a PE teacher will discuss how to balance sport and study and give yourself the best chance of excelling at both. Current Dublin Ladies Football star Nicole Owens discusses mental health, shares her own experiences and the tools she uses to look after her mental wellbeing in a bid to raise awareness among members. Finishing up the Monday talks, Cavan’s Paul Brady will talk in depth on how to develop a winning mindset in what is sure to be a fascinating interview with the 5-time World and 10-time All Ireland champion.

Tasty Tuesdays provides an exciting opportunity for our young members to learn more about nutrition with Sharon Madigan (Sport Ireland Nutritionist) and her team sharing a number of nutritional talks on what to eat before, during and after games to help reach peak performance. There will also be some cook along videos showcasing how to make various foods that will help to fuel the body.

Dr Sharon Madigan, Head of Performance Nutrition, Sport Ireland Institute.
Dr Sharon Madigan, Head of Performance Nutrition, Sport Ireland Institute.

Workout Wednesdays sees top handballers put our young members through their paces with World #1 Killian Carroll doing a speed and agility workout, while Robbie McCarthy & Catriona Casey will host online skills workouts that all young members are sure to be excited by. Sports Injury Specialist Tommy Gallagher will deal with preventing injury on our return to games, and will have a series of self-assessment tests to make sure members are in the best possible shape to avoid injury when play returns.

Takeover Thursdays will include a range of top handball stars taking over the GAA Handball Instagram account and sharing their daily routines, coaching tips and also answer questions. There will also be a number of exciting tik tok challenges and a fantastic design a jersey competition in conjunction with O’Neills i-create which will see the winners jersey be produced for sale on the GAA Handball online shop. There will be several other features throughout the month with a series of fun activities and challenges for our youngest members to ensure that there is something for all ages during the month.

The Friday Forum will see International stars from 4-Wall and 1-Wall Daniel Cordova (USA) and Luke Thompson (England) join Ireland’s Catriona Casey to talk about their Handball globetrotting exploits. Top handball stars Martin Mulkerrins, Martina McMahon and Diarmaid Nash will discuss what it takes to succeed at the top while Galway’s Ciana Ní Churraoin and Clare’s Colin Crehan will talk about making the transition from underage to senior handball. Finishing off the youth expo will be a keynote panel of speakers where All Ireland winning Kerry footballer Kieran Donaghy, multiple All Ireland winning Cork dual star Rena Buckley and All Ireland winning hurler and former underage Handball star Richie Hogan (Kilkenny) discuss playing multiple sports and the benefits of same.

Former Kerry footballer, Kieran Donaghy.
Former Kerry footballer, Kieran Donaghy.

It is the biggest online project ever undertaken by GAA Handball and National Manager John Kelly commented on the exciting new venture.

He said: “The pandemic has hit our Juvenile players extremely hard and it is crucial that we as an association do all we can to keep these members engaged with our sport and give them something meaningful to fill the void in lockdown. With no handball permitted during lockdown we have worked hard on coming up with alternative ways of keeping our juvenile members engaged and we are confident that across the month we will have something for everyone and that all our Juvenile members will benefit from the Expo. We are hugely excited by the programme on offer and hope that it will ignite the passion for handball in our juveniles and fill the void before our games recommence hopefully in the near future.”

The series will aim to keep the current crop of juvenile members engaged but also attract new members and the talks are open to everybody both young and old and will be available on the GAA Handball social media channels.

National Club Support Officer Pauric Dowdall commented: “Juveniles are the future of our sport and we understand that the last 12 months will have been like nothing they will have ever experienced before. While coming up with the idea and format for our first Youth Expo we had to ensure that it was going to be relevant, interesting, engaging, and fun and we are confident we have ticked these boxes. We have a fantastic line up of speakers and content which we are delighted to launch today. We encourage all our clubs to pass on the message about our Expo to your younger members and we look forward to the Expo being a huge success and something that could become an annual fixture on the GAA Handball calendar.”

The action kicks off on Monday 5th April and runs throughout the whole month of April with further details available on