The eagerly awaited Fáilte Ireland World Handball Championships begin on Thursday at the Citywest Arena.
Over 2,000 players from 30 countries will compete on 21 purpose-built courts over 11 days.
The GAA have invested considerably in the development of handball and there is no doubt that the World Championships will see record attendances over the course of the competition.
The action gets underway from 10am on Thursday and will also see 30 schools from around Ireland participate also in a mini Olympic style event. The students will also get to meet the stars of Ireland, USA and many other countries who will participate in coaching and mini games.
"I cannot wait to see the Citywest venue and participate in what should be the best Worlds to date" - Naty Alvarado
The highlight of the opening day starts at 5.15pm in a must-see Ireland v USA Showdown Cup tie. This will see the top eight US and Ireland stars go head to head in a Ryder Cup style event and there is no doubt this will provide an awesome atmosphere in the much-vaunted elevated Glass Showcourt in front of 3,000 spectators.
Former world champion and USA top pro Naty Alvarado is amongst some of the greatest talent to have played the game and is relishing the challenge in Dublin.
Alvarado said: "This is an impressive feat placing this year’s Worlds under one roof. This will be a cutting edge example of the love and respect Ireland has for all forms of handball.
"I cannot wait to see the Citywest venue and participate in what should be the best Worlds to date."
5.15pm: Sean Lenning v Paul Brady
5.50pm: Luis Moreno/Andy Nett v Robbie McCarthy & Brian Carroll
6.25pm: David Fink v Michael Gregan
7.00pm: Naty Alvarado/Luis Cordova v Ducksy Walsh & Tom Sheridan