There seems something unjust that despite Sarah Carrick being a GB handball internationalist, she receives no support at all and even has to pay to represent her country.

Carrick has found herself in the unfortunate position of excelling in a sport that gets no funding or back-up and so despite being one of the best players in the country, she admits that continuing her international career is a constant struggle.

Handball in this country received significant funding in the lead-up to London 2012 but immediately following the conclusion of the Olympic Games, every penny of support was withdrawn, leaving the sport in limbo and its athletes wholly uncertain of what lay ahead.

This lack of funding has meant that athletes must do much of their training alone and are forced to self-fund their international trips.

With GB’s last international outing coming last November, coincidentally in Scotland when they took on Belgium in a double-header in Edinburgh, it has been some time since Carrick has played at the top level. And with no signs of any more international fixtures being confirmed in the near future, nor any money being made available, she admits that the situation is far from ideal. “There’s nothing planned at the moment because the funding situation has meant that the GB programme has come to a bit of a standstill,” the 25-year-old from Cumbernauld said.

“That makes it hard to stay motivated because, for me, it’s always easier to get motivated if there’s a camp or a competition coming up.

“We just don’t have the same funding or training facilities as some of the other nations and even just trying to get together as a group is really difficult. The current senior team is completely self-funded so that makes it tough for every one of us.

We hoped so much that the investment up to London 2012 was going to continue but it just hasn’t happened. The problem for our sport is that they need to fund 14 athletes and at best, we can only deliver one medal whereas in individual sports, you only need to fund one athlete and you could get the same medal return.”

Such is Carrick’s hectic schedule though, she does not have much time to feel sorry for herself. As well as studying for a Masters in law, she also coaches handball at Kelvinside Academy in Glasgow, a school which, perhaps surprisingly, has a thriving handball programme.

The sport may not be mainstream in Scotland and indeed, it was by pure chance that Kelvinside Academy has transpired to become one of the most productive programmes in the country when it comes to producing top quality young players. “The programme that I’m involved with started when one of the teachers, Fiona Kennedy, got tickets for the London Olympics and all that was left was handball,” Carrick explained.

“The kids came back from London and were really keen to start playing themselves so Fiona just built it up from there.”

Carrick, who at the time coached the GB girls under-16 team, was asked to join Kelvinside’s programme as a coach and in the 18 months she has been in post, the sport has thrived, with a number of the pupils being invited to join the GB set-up themselves. “It’s great that I can get more kids involved in handball - currently, we’re the only club in Scotland which has teams at every age-group, which is brilliant,” she said. “And it’s fantastic to see some of the kids move into the international scene. Last year, I was the assistant GB coach for the GB girls programme and Kelvinside had five girls in the GB squad which is amazing.

“The junior girls have their programme partially funded through the European Handball Federation which is obviously really positive but what makes it hard is that they know that once they’re out if the youth system, they know they’ll be on their own so it’s then about whether they have the dedication as well as the financial ability to support themselves to continue their career.”

Carrick admits that she has no ide what her own future holds. But, despite the struggles, she has no regrets about the commitment she has put in and will, no doubt, continue to put in to reach the upper echelons of her sport. “I keep going just because of the love of the sport – it’s as simple as that,” she said.

“In all the years I’ve played, I’ve never get bored of it and I still love playing. What happens in the future for me is a little bit out of my hands because it just depends where the sport goes. I’m not old but my body is quite old because it’s been through so much having played handball - which is very physically demanding - for so long. So we’ll just have to wait and see.”