HOSPITAL Handball Club members will be using their hands to hit bodies and faces in a ring instead of a ball in an alley for the first time.
The club is hosting a white collar boxing event imaginatively called “The thrilla in the villa” in the Charleville Park Hotel on Friday, March 28 at 8pm.
Betty Herr, PRO of Hospital Handball Club, said the event was launched in O’Neill’s Bar in the village on Sunday night.
“There are 22 competitors including four women - Hannah Marshall, Freda O’Rourke, Katie Heffernan and Ciara O’Sullivan. It has got a great response. Ringside seats at €25 have already sold out, ones at €20 are available,” said Betty.
This is the first fundraiser to help their new club development project.
“They got planning permission and GAA approval to build a 40 by 20 feet alley down by the GAA clubhouse. We have a 65 by 30 foot but it is more sentiment now because all the big matches are in 40 by 20 alleys.
“As well as the handball club it will be a big advantage to the GAA club for training and for the whole community,” said Betty.
Locals are also sponsoring the brave boxers.
Hospital Handball Club chairman, JP O’Connor said the cost of the new alley will be around €160,000.
JP said the current alley goes back to 1926. And while it has served them well as the number of their World and All-Ireland champions proves, it is time for a new one.
JP says they are the most successful handball club ever in Ireland with over 130 All-Irelands in their history. The famous Quish brothers and Bernadette Hennessy immediately spring to mind.
About half the competitors are drawn from the club and the other half are from the local community and Knocklong, Ballyneety, Ballybricken and Knocklong.
Tickets are on sale at the club this Friday night, March 21 between 7pm and 8pm.
They are also available from any club member and everyone is looking forward to the boxing event in Charleville on March 28.