FIVE rising stars from Chester have been selected to represent their country at the biggest youth handball tournament in the world.

Gemma Cooney, Jess Milligan, Joe Davies, Jack Ellson and Ben Tyler will pit their wits against some of the best young players on the planet at the Partille Cup.

More than 10,000 players and coaching staff from across the globe will descend on Gothenburg in July for the annual Swedish event, which will get under way with an Olympic-style opening ceremony.

Bishops’ High School student Joe will be joined in the England Under 16s boys ranks by Jack, of Christleton High School, and Ben, of Tarporley High School. Blacon High School’s Gemma and the Queen’s School’s Jess will take their place in the U16s girls squad.

The quintet are all members of Deva Handball Club, based at the Northgate Arena, and are the first players from the club to win national call-ups since its formation in 2003.

Deva has grown into one of the country’s leading handball clubs and now runs senior men’s and women’s teams along with sides at U9s, U11s, U13s, U15s and U17s level.

If you are interested in taking up the sport you can contact club secretary Gary Kelsall on 078251 51679 or email

Deva train at the Northgate Arena on Mondays from 5-6pm for players in school years eight and below, and on Thursdays from 4-6pm for players in school years 9-11. Senior men’s and women’s training takes place at Bishops’ High on Mondays from 7-9pm.

After pulling on the England jersey at the Partille Cup, Gemma, Jess, Joe, Jack and Ben will then attempt to fire their country to glory at the Tri-Nations Tournament in Warrington.