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Ciaran lends a hand to sporty Tiverton children

By Mid Devon Gazette  |  Posted: September 25, 2012

Ciaran Williams teaches the little-known game to pupils

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A HERO of handball visited Tiverton last week to help raise the profile of the game following the London 2012 Olympics.

Ciaran Williams was the playmaker in the Team GB side which took part in the handball competition at the games.

Despite being widely played on the continent, handball was considered a minority sport in the UK before the games but Ciaran believes the massive exposure at London 2012 will create a big surge in interest at the grass roots of the game.

During a visit to Blundell's Preparatory School earlier this month, Ciaran demonstrated the game to pupils.

He also talked to youngsters about what it takes to be an Olympian, took part in PE lessons and ran a clinic and demonstration of the sport.

After the Olympics, Ciaran said: "If I can inspire a playmaker of the future, I'll be so proud."

He is also hopeful his visit might inspire youngsters to start a handball club at the school.

His visit to Blundell's Prep was funded by Tiverton-based Global Games Sports.

This was the school's second taste of Olympic excitement this summer.

Eight pupils from the school were part of the guard of honour which lined the route for athletes making their way to the Olympic Stadium for the opening ceremony of the games in July.

Each of the 250 schools which formed the guard of honour supported one of the competing nations, with the Blundell's contingent being partnered with the Caribbean islands of St Kitts and Nevis.

The pupils later met the team and the athletes signed the banner the school had made and displayed along the Olympic route.

Louiza May, head of girls games, who organised the school's involvement, said: "'The children were so excited to meet the athletes – it was a wonderful moment."

The school had already learnt about the country during lessons in the summer term and exchanged gifts and letters with its twin school, Beach Allen Primary School on the islands.

The School was selected to be part of the guard of honour because of its commitment to upholding the Olympic and Paralympic values.

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