Louise Jukes planning Scandinavian swansong

Ipswich Olympian Louise Jukes is planning a Scandinavian swansong as she plots the next step in her sporting odyssey.

The 28-year-old handballer has signed a professional contract with Danish team SK Aarhus but has confessed that this season could be her last.

Her new employers were relegated from Denmark’s top league last season but are planning an immediate return which Jukes, who scored twice on her debut in a victory, wants to be a part of.

“This season, hopefully I can help my team win promotion and then I want to come back to Ipswich and maybe get involved with some coaching of the sport and carrying on the legacy of London 2012,” revealed Jukes.

“I am 28 and this could be my last season depending on how my body feels, but with the talk of the Olympics in Rio in 2016, you never know. But for now, I am planning just one season in Denmark.”

Jukes’ plans to potentially retire from the game come as the very future of the sport in Great Britain remains in the balance.

Prime Minister David Cameron announced UK Sport would receive the same level of funding it did for London 2012 (�500m), ahead of the Rio Olympics, but it remains unclear what level of funding handball will receive.

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The team has already been pulled out of the World Championships which are due to be held in December next year and coach Jesper Holmris’ position remains in doubt.

Team GB’s under-par performance at the Games – they failed to win a single match – did not help their cause.

“We don’t know what is happening but everything has completely finished for now,” said Jukes, who has been part of the Team GB handball programme since 2008, having previously played hockey.

“We have been pulled out of the World Championships and we are not sure if our coach is going to continue, it all depends on what happens at an upcoming board meeting.

“There is now no more money in the pot for handball until December so we will have to wait and see.

“We did not play our best at the Olympics and the other teams were so much more experienced than us.”

With her own future and that of Team GB’s unclear, Jukes is ready to give it her all in Denmark and is delighted to have earned a professional contract.

“After the Olympics, clubs wanted to sign me and I joined SK Aarhus, playing my first match last Friday,” said Jukes, who performed well in her debut.

“It’s amazing being paid for doing something that you really enjoy.

“It’s the highest league I have ever played in, there are some good youth players coming through, and it is a really good standard.”

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