Just another handball day in Rossiter and Dunne households as All Ireland finals loom
It’s difficult to be sure what it is about handball that draws you ‘in’ but once you get involved in the sport the yanks call ‘The Perfect Game’, you and your family invariably become hooked writes AOB. That is the only conclusion to be drawn from the number of fathers, sons, mothers and daughters who participate in the game and it highlights once again the unique contribution the sport makes not just to the general health of the playing population but to the principal of the Gaelic Athletic Association ‘family of sports’ ethos.
Despite the sometimes negative opinion expressed at different levels of our organisation about our competitions and systems, we are closer to perfection than many of our competitors and indeed are not far off being a ‘one size fits all’ sport. Maybe that is why the Americans named it as they did!
For several family units in Wexford and numerous families around the country, handball is important in their lives. Whether training against each other or travelling to the venues, they are in it together. The time spent on the road is unimportant but the time spent on court is and they encourage and support each other through thick and through thin. Congratulations and commiserations are nurtured equally because victory and defeat are merely components of a sport they have dedicated so much of their quality time to. Put simply, handball is important in their house and collectively they are in for the long haul!
Two such Wexford families are the Rossiter’s from Ballyhogue Handball Club and the Dunne’s from Kilmyshall Handball Club who in the coming weeks will be chasing several All Ireland titles between them. In Rossiter’s case, dad Billy has reached both the Diamond Masters B Singles and Emerald Masters B Doubles finals (the doubles with brother Michael) while Liam has qualified for the boys under 17 doubles decider with Laurence Dunne. Laurence’s dad Jimmy returned to the game a few years ago when Kilmyshall reopened its doors after a long absence and he has shown his class and determination by qualifying for the Emerald Masters B Singles final.
Two families who are united in their application to the sport and two families who will be back on court a few days after the finals, irrespective of the outcome of those games. Terrific people, great sportsmen and true gaels in every sense of the word!