May 2015: England call up for Haslingden’s handball star


HANDBALL star Leonah Ellis has been picked to represent England U16s and will play her first tournament in Denmark this summer.

Leonah, 15, in Year 10 at Haslingden High School, is following in her brother Terry’s footsteps as he also represents England.

Excelling at handball is a tradition at the school as former student Olympian Ciaran Williams, now a handball coach, can attest.

Leonah plays for North East Manchester Hawks, Greater Manchester Handball team and represents the North West.

“We had three trials for the England team at Birchwood Sports Centre near Warrington,” said Leonah. “There were about 40 people and they only picked 16 for the team.”

“I play right half. I am good at scoring goals and I have a powerful shot.

“My brother has been playing for England for about five or six years and I followed him.

“I like football as well and I used to watch my brother in competitions and I just wanted to try it out.

“My mum wanted me to get involved with as many things as possible so when I was about 9 I tried it.”

Leonah has a busy schedule practising handball three nights a week, football alternate Wednesdays with Burnley Girls U15s as well as matches at the weekend. England training sessions are also twice a month.

She said: “Handball is one of the fastest team ball games and it is very energetic.

“There are only seven players in a team so you get more play. In football there were lots of good players but I like handball best because I am doing better at it.”