Borough’s top talent honoured at ABC Senior Sports Awards

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Senior Sports Awards Winners 2024
Senior Sports Awards Winners 2024.

There was an overwhelming sense of pride at the ABC Senior Sports Awards last night, Wednesday 27 March when 150 guests gathered at Craigavon Civic Centre to honour the A-list of the local sporting community and celebrate their impressive achievements over the past year.

 

Organised by Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Sports Forum the awards celebrate the individuals, teams and clubs who have represented Northern Ireland, Ulster and Ireland at European and world competitions, as well as the coaches and volunteers who have helped them achieve sporting success at the highest level.

The wealth of sporting talent in the borough was once again front and centre on the night with some 49 shortlisted nominees vying for an award across 7 categories.

Speaking at the ceremony, Lord Mayor Alderman Margaret Tinsley said: “Tonight’s awards truly showcase the wealth of talent we have in this Borough. There have been lots of truly memorable and historic moments for you all and I know you all are immensely proud of what you have achieved. I also know that there is much personal sacrifice when it comes to competing at this level so you all should be commended for your continued dedication as you strive for excellence.

“You have certainly set a very high benchmark for the next group of up-and-coming athletes to aspire to and I am confident that you will continue to achieve great things in the future.

“To all the coaches and volunteers for the work you do behind the scenes; the incredible work that you all do must be praised and recognised.”

Before the winners were announced, compere U105’s Denise Watson invited Ireland Men’s Hockey Senior Team Head Coach Mark Tumilty to the stage. The Team qualified back in January for the Paris 2024 Olympics.

The coveted Sportswoman of the Year Award went to Team Great Britain Archer Kathryn Morton from Ballyvally Archers who won two gold medals and a bronze at the European U21 Championships.

World Championships double sculls bronze medallist Philip Doyle scooped the Sportsman of the Year Award. As a result, the boat has qualified for the Paris 2024 Olympics.

Scott Cromie from Craigavon Boccia Club who won a silver medal at the Irish Championships and finished in 4th place at the UK Boccia Championships won the Sports Person with a Disability Award.

Lurgan Coarse Angling Club Senior Team were winners of the Senior Team of the Year after their sterling display of consistency seen them crowned World Club Feeder Champions.

The Club of the Year Award went to hugely successful Clann Eireann who had a season of trophy success across multiple age groups in Gaelic Football, Netball and Handball.

Head coach of Banbridge Hockey Club Men’s 1st XI team, Scott McCandless won the Senior Coach of the Year Award. He was instrumental in helping the team dominate in Ireland and claim three pieces of silverware including the All-Ireland Hockey League title, the Champions Trophy and the Irish Senior Cup.

The Chairman’s Award went to St Mary’s GAC, Aghagallon who launched their ‘All Star’ inclusive GAA initiative providing a positive experience for those with additional needs – the first of its kind in the borough.

Volunteer Awards were presented to Alan Nelson (Waringstown Cricket Club), Martin Duffy (Banbridge Cycling Club), Danielle Marshall (Naomh Pol CLG), Mildred Hodgett (Banbridge Golf Club), Catherine Nelson (Sean Treacy’s Hurling Club), Ann Robinson (Banbridge & Rathfriland Karate Club), Paula Stewart (Lurgan Rugby Football & Cricket Club), and Amy Wethers (Craigavon Aztecs Volleyball Club).

Former Irish Hockey Player Eugene Magee was the first person inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Sports Forum Chairman, Cathal O’Neill, thanked ABC Council for the support in organising the awards along with the individual category sponsors.