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Galliers announces record-breaking sports funding

Shropshire house builders Galliers Homes has announced a record-breaking sports sponsorship package.

The Shrewsbury-based company, which develops housing schemes across the county, has pledged £45,000 to boost girls’ handball.

The three-year deal, a joint venture with its sister company Cameron Homes of Staffordshire, will support the development of the sport in schools and clubs in the region and comes on the back of an initial £25,000 sponsorship programme.

The new package is the largest non-government backed investment in British handball and will be used to run courses across 20 schools in Shropshire, the West Midlands, Staffordshire, Derbyshire and Leicestershire over the next three years.

Shropshire schools to benefit include Thomas Adams School Wem, Belvidere School in Shrewsbury and Newport Girls High.

Nenad Popovic, who runs ScoreUK, the consultancy running the sports programme, said: “This is a tremendous commitment by Galliers Homes and a great opportunity for schools to embrace the sport at no cost. We have enlisted three of the best coaches in the country to work with girls to ensure that the region will continue to produce top female players.”

Ian Burns, managing director of Galliers Homes, said “Galliers and our sister company Cameron are delighted to extend our involvement in girls’ handball following the success of the initial year.

“With the very best coaches on board, and new equipment, we are sure that the scheme will have a major impact on female sport in the region.”

Thomas Adams School sports teacher Ceri Kempster said that this was a fantastic opportunity for students.

“They can now play handball, led by an experienced coach, in sessions in curriculum time and at a lunch time club. Our students have really taken to the sport and we have over 35 pupils on Tuesday lunchtime, ranging in ages, which is an excellent uptake.

“We even plan to put an extra session on after school to accommodate such large numbers and are hoping to enter some handball competitions to further enhance pupil's experiences.”

Galliers’ funding announcement is expected to breathe life into the sport, which had its elite level funding completely cut by UK Sport following the London 2012 Olympics.

The initial investment scheme - launched in July 2015 - has already had a dramatic effect on the region, with Staffordshire girls winning the national county championships and Olympia Cannock providing the national youth player of the year, Atalia Imbanga, now a student at Adams Grammar School in Newport.

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