The Craigavon Civic and Conference Centre rolled out the red carpet on Friday 28 September to welcome 250 guests to the Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Junior Sports Awards 2018 to celebrate what was an unforgettable year of sporting glory at a local level and pay tribute to the sports stars of the borough.
The prestigious event, which was compered by Denise Watson from U105, featured a total of 65 nominations shortlisted across 12 categories. The wealth of talent being honoured demonstrated that the borough has a vast, rich and diverse pool of people who merit recognition for their outstanding sporting achievements and performances throughout the year.
Organised in partnership with the Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Sports Forum, the evening brought together athletes, teams, coaches, clubs and volunteers, recognising and rewarding their achievements and celebrating commitment and excellence in participation and performance.
Addressing the award nominees, Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, Councillor Julie Flaherty, said, “At awards ceremonies like this we are always delighted at the level of excellence achieved in the sporting arena by the clubs, schools and individuals in the borough. It is a pleasure for the council to recognise your talents through these awards and in so doing hopefully offer you the encouragement to go on to bigger and better things.”
The Sport Forum were overwhelmed not least by the number of nominations, but primarily by the exceptional high standard of achievement which included Ulster, Irish, and Great Britain representation, as well competing at European and world level.
Edith Jamison Chairman of the Sports Forum extended her thanks to the Lord Mayor for the support offered from Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council which enables them to organise such important events and celebrate the sporting excellence across the borough. She also paid thanks to the headline sponsor House of Sport Intersport and each of the individual category sponsors.
The awardees recognised at this year’s awards ceremony are as follows:
Volunteer Awards sponsored by House of Sport, Intersport: Rhys McDonnell from Banbridge & Rathfriland Karate Club; Emma Rankin from Armagh Special Olympics Club.
Sports Person with a Disability sponsored by Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council: Josh McCauley from Banbridge Special Olympics Club who won a gold and silver medal in aquatics at the Special Olympics Ireland Games. Sammy Willis also won a gold and silver medal in aquatics at the Special Olympics Ireland Games. Billy Wilson from Banbridge Special Olympics Club was also recognised for his achievements.
Junior School Team of the Year sponsored by Ian Donnelly Associates: Tandragee Junior High School, Minor Boys Athletics Team who had double glory winning both the Ulster Athletics Championships as well as the All-Ireland Athletics Championships.
Junior Club Team of the Year sponsored by Armagh Sports & Trophies: Derrynoose GAC U14 Girls Gaelic Football Team who won the Co. Armagh Division 1 League as well as the Division 1 Championship, then went on to win the first ever All-Ireland Gaelic Football Feile for a Co. Armagh ladies team.
Youth School Team of the Year sponsored by Linwoods: St. Ronan’s College, Boys Gaelic Football Team who had the perfect season winning the McCormack Cup, MacRory Cup and the All-Ireland Hogan Cup.
Youth Club Team of the Year sponsored by Donaghys Shoefair: Portadown Ladies Hockey Club’s U15 Team who had very successful year winning the Ulster Hockey League as well as the Ulster Hockey Cup.
School Coach of the Year sponsored by Sport Northern Ireland: St. Ronan’s College, Boys Gaelic Football Team Mangers. David Wilson, Micky Donnelly & Collie Fegan who coached their team to winning the McCormack Cup, MacRory Cup and the All-Ireland Hogan Cup.
Club Coach of the Year sponsored by Sport Northern Ireland: Mark Evans from Portadown Ladies Hockey Club who coached the U15 girls’ team that won the Ulster Hockey U15 Cup as well as the Ulster Hockey U15 League.
Chairman’s Award sponsored by Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Sports Forum: Banbridge Academy School teams who won Northern Ireland & Ireland Titles with the Boys Hockey Team, Girls Hockey Team, Girls Double Rowing Team and the Girls Table Tennis Team.
Junior Male of the Year sponsored by Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council: Edward Rowe from Tandragee Golf Club. Edward won the Irish Championship representing Ulster in Golf and was presented with the Craddock Trophy.
Junior Female of the Year sponsored by Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council: Great Britain Olympic Development Squad member Jodie McKew who won gold at the World Ranking Dutch Open Olympic Event, Silver at the European Presidents Cup and Gold again at the Luxembourg Open.
Youth Male of the Year sponsored by Rushmere Shopping: Lisburn City Swimming Club member Daniel Wiffen who is currently Irish Junior Champion in the 200m freestyle. He won gold, silver and bronze at the Dave McCullough International Meet. At the Ulster Championships Daniel won 3 golds, a silver and 4 bronze medals. He represented Ireland in Luxembourg and also at the Sainsbury’s School Games.
Youth Female of the Year sponsored House of Sport Intersport: Niamh McKiverigan from Powerhouse Sport won the Ulster Track Cycling League. In Cyclocross she won the Ulster Junior Championship and League. In Cross Country Mountain Biking she won the Ulster League, the National Points Series, the National Championship and League.
In Pictures – Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Junior Sports Awards 2018