Local Sporting Talent Recognised
November 15, 2017
Sport Lisburn & Castlereagh has paid tribute to local sporting talent during the 2017 Draynes Farm Sports Awards held at a prestigious ceremony at La Mon Hotel and Country Club.
The event, which was attended by over 200 guests, was hosted by Sports Journalist, Mark Sidebottom and included an insightful interview with British Superbike Championship rider & North West 200 Superbike race winner, Glenn Irwin. There were also interviews with young athletes aspiring to make the Commonwealth Games in Australia next year, which included gymnast Ewan McAteer, cyclist Xeno Young and boxer Kurt Walker.
The Sports Awards recognise both individuals and teams from Lisburn & Castlereagh who have excelled in their chosen sport as well as individuals who have contributed to sporting success through coaching or as Club administrators. The aim of the event is to celebrate the immense sporting talent within the Council area and encourage greater participation in sport.
Three times World and Para Olympic Champion, Jason Smyth who unfortunately was unable to attend the ceremony due to his intensive training schedule, was named Sports Personality of the Year. This year, Jason achieved his season best time at the World Para Championships in London, where he successfully defended his 100 metre T13 world title and also returned to dominant form over the 200 metres which was the first time he had raced in this event since the 2004 European Para Championships. Jason also led the Northern Ireland 4 x 100 metres relay team to a new Northern Ireland record of 40.35 seconds at the London Anniversary Games in the Olympic Stadium. Benchrest European Championship and World Cup medallist, Maurice Hassard was awarded second place and Boxing European Championship medallist, Kurt Walker third place in this category.
Junior Sports Personality of the Year was won by championship cyclist, Xeno Young who successfully achieved a Silver medal in the Individual Pursuits at the World Junior Track Cycling Championships in Italy. Earlier in the year, Xeno also won another Silver medal at the European Junior Track Cycling Championship in Portugal and he also found success in the Omnium Event in which he was ranked number two in the world. Second place in the category was presented to British Gymnastics Senior Vault Champion, Ewan McAteer and third place was won by Swimming Commonwealth Youth Games medallist, Rachel Bethel.
Attending the awards ceremony, Deputy Mayor of Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council, Councillor Hazel Legge said, “We have a proud history of sporting success across the Council area and it gives me great pleasure to recognise the wealth of talent at this year’s Sports Awards.
“The Council aims to cater for local demand by providing first class facilities for visitors and athletes such as Lagan Valley LeisurePlex and Dundonald International Ice Bowl. It also strives to support local clubs with their facilities, including the BMX track at Aberdelghy, the baseball diamond at Hydebank Playing Fields and a variety of locally run community centres which provide venues for many sports organisations.
“We also have a number of sports stars residing in the Council area, who provide inspiration to sports clubs and athletes striving to compete at the highest level. I would like to thank Dame Mary Peters, Janet Gray, Glenn Irwin, Ewan McAteer, Xeno Young and Kurt Walker for taking the time to attend the Sports Awards and I know listening to their sporting success will provide great encouragement to the next generation of local sporting heroes.”
Alderman James Tinsley, Chairman of the Council’s Leisure & Community Development Committee added, “Lisburn & Castlereagh has a rich sporting heritage producing many World, Olympic, Commonwealth, European and National Champions. The Council has endeavoured to support these teams and individuals who aspire to reach the highest levels of performance and competition but they also aim to encourage greater physical activity in the wider community by delivering programmes to help those wishing to improve their fitness or take part for the fun and enjoyment of sport.
“The Sports Awards are an opportunity to publicly recognise current sporting champions and potential sporting champions of the future. I appreciate that any achievement is testimony to years of hard work, training and dedication therefore it is with great pride that we can acknowledge the success of all our nominees tonight.
“I would like to congratulate all the award winners for their achievements and to everyone behind the scenes for their commitment to sport within our local communities. I would like to thank Sport Lisburn & Castlereagh for their continued partnership with the Council and also local company, Draynes Farm, for generously sponsoring the event and acknowledging the important role sport plays in our area.”
Club of the Year was won by Lisburn Taekwondo Club with Jog Lisburn taking second place and Salto Gymnastics Club third place. School Team of the Year was awarded to Laurelhill Community College Under 15 Football Team with Wallace High School Medallion Rugby Team taking second place and Wallace High School First XI Girls’ Hockey Team securing third place.
Senior Coach of iCAN Judo, Mark Spence was presented with the Coach of the Year Award for his hard work and dedication developing the club. Second prize was awarded to Peter Kennedy from Crewe United Football Club and third place Andrew Clyde and Paul Millen joint managers of Ballymascash Rangers Football Club.
The Senior Team of the Year was won by Crewe United Football Club First XI with Crewe United Ladies Football Club taking second place and Lisburn Golf Club third place. Lisburn Golf Club, Fred Daly Team was awarded first prize in the Junior Team of the Year. City of Lisburn Salto Gymnastics Centre achieved second place and Ballymascash Rangers Football Club Under 17 a third place.
The Merit Award was presented to three individuals to recognise the essential and valuable service they provide to their clubs in the pursuit of success in their chosen sport. The Junior Award was achieved by Todd Gowdy from Lisburn Racquets Club while the Senior Merit Award was awarded to both Tom Best from the Dundrod and District MCC and Bob Colhoun from Lisburn Racquets Club.
Jimmy Walker, Chairman of Sport Lisburn & Castlereagh added his support for the event: “The Sports Awards is definitely one of the highlights of the year for Sport Lisburn & Castlereagh as it gives us the opportunity to recognise, honour and congratulate athletes, teams and coaches for their hard work and dedication to their chosen sport. We hope our nominees will inspire others to participate in sport and help develop sporting talent and healthier lifestyles in Lisburn & Castlereagh Finally I would like to thank Draynes Farm for kindly supporting tonight’s event, and Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council for its continuing funding support to Sport Lisburn & Castlereagh.”
Chairman of Sport Lisburn & Castlereagh, Mr Jimmy Walker presents the Coach of the Year Award to winner Mark Spence from iCAN Judo, 2nd place Peter Kennedy from Crewe United Football Club and 3rd place Andrew Clyde and Paul Millen from Ballymascash Rangers FC
Vice Chairman of the Leisure & Community Development Committee, Councillor Rhoda Walker presents the Junior Sports Team of the Year Award to winners Lisburn Golf Club Fred Daly Team, 2nd place City of Lisburn Salto Gymnastics Centre and 3rd place Ballymascash Rangers FC Under 17s.
Dame Mary Peters presents the Senior Team of the Year Awards to winners Crewe United FC First XI, 2nd place Crewe United Ladies FC and 3rd place Lisburn Golf Club.
Chairman of the Leisure & Community Development Committee, Alderman James Tinsley presents the Junior Merit Award to Doreen McClements on behalf of Todd Gowdy and the Senior Merit Award to Bob Colhoun and Tom Best.
Councillor Janet Gray presents the Club of the Year Award to winners Lisburn Taekwondo Club, 2nd place Jog Lisburn and 3rd place Salto Gymnastics Club.
The Deputy Mayor of Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council, Councillor Hazel Legge presents the Junior Sports Personality of the Year Award to winner Xeno Young from Powerhouse Cycling Club, 2nd place Ewan McAteer from Salto Gymnastics Club and 3rd place Rachel Bethel, City of Lisburn Swimming Club (award accepted by Betty Beattie).
Sponsor Michael Drayne from Draynes Farm presents the Senior Sports Personality of the Year to runners up Maurice Hassard in 2nd and Kurt Walker in 3rd place.
The Deputy Mayor of Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council, Councillor Hazel Legge and Chairman of the Leisure & Community Development Committee, Alderman James Tinsley is joined by all the award winners.
Xeno Young celebrates winning the Junior Sports Personality of the Year Award with the Deputy Mayor of Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council, Councillor Hazel Legge, Chairman of the Leisure & Community Development Committee, Alderman James Tinsley, sponsor Michael Drayne and compere Mark Sidebottom.
Commonwealth Games hopefuls Xeno Young, Ewan McAteer and Kurt Walker are joined by Dame Mary Peters, Glen Irwin, Deputy Mayor of Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council, Councillor Hazel Legge and Chairman of the Leisure & Community Development Committee, Alderman James Tinsley