Sparkling awards event honours Junior Sports Stars

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Craigavon Civic and Conference Centre rolled out the red carpet on Friday 27 September to welcome over 200 guests to the Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Junior Sports Awards 2019 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 U105’s Denise Watson, 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 Mealla Campbell, said, “Each year we continue to be in awe of the excellence achieved by our individuals, schools and clubs.  It is our pleasure as a 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.”

Lady Mary Peters was the special guest for the evening who truly inspired the young people in the audience to keeping striving for all that they want to achieve and never give up reaching their goal.

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 McKeever Sports, Intersport and each of the individual category sponsors.

The awardees recognised at this year’s awards ceremony are as follows:

Volunteer Awards sponsored by McKeever Sport, Intersport:
Robyn Doherty from Banbridge Netball Club and Aaliyah McKinney from Armagh Special Olympics Swimming Club.

Sports Person with a Disability sponsored by Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council:
Caolan McConville from Ski Ability Northern Ireland who won double gold in both Slalom events at the Special Olympics Ulster Finals.

Junior School Team of the Year sponsored by Donaghys Shoefair Sports
Banbridge Academy U14 Boys hockey team who were unstoppable last season winning the Ulster Ferris Cup and All Ireland Schoolboys Championships.

Junior Club Team of the Year sponsored by Rushmere Shopping Centre
Banbridge Rugby Football Club’s U14 Team who were Ulster League and Cup winners for the first time in the Club’s history.

Junior Male of the Year sponsored by Linwoods:
Dylan Foy from Banbridge Amateur Boxing Club who is the Irish Boys U14 Boxing Champion.

Junior Female of the Year sponsored by Ian Donnelly Associates:
Jodie McKew who won Silver at the Dutch Open and Gold at both the World Grand Prix and Croatia Open. She is also a member of the Great Britain Olympic Pathway Squad.

Youth School Team of the Year sponsored by Armagh Sports and Trophies:
St Catherine’s College U16 Girls Gaelic Football Team who claimed the Ulster School’s U16 ‘A’ title before winning the prestigious All Ireland School’s Junior ‘A’ title.

Youth Club Team of the Year sponsored by Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council
City of Armagh Rugby Club’s U16 Team who had double delight winning both the Ulster U16 League and Cup.

School Coach of the Year sponsored by Sport Northern Ireland:
Ciara Marley from St Catherine’s College who coached her U16 Girls Gaelic Football School Team to an Ulster ‘A’ and All Ireland ‘A’ title.

Mark Cordner from Banbridge Academy who coached his U14 Boys Hockey Team to winning both the Ulster Ferris Cup and the All Ireland Schoolboys Hockey Championships.

Club Coach of the Year sponsored by Sport Northern Ireland:
Becky Cullen from Iveagh Pony Club who coached the Irish Pony Eventing Team to win Team and Individual Silver at the European Championships.

Chairman’s Award sponsored by Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Sports Forum:
Seagoe Primary School who won both the Northern Ireland Primary School’s Football Cup and Ulster Hockey’s McCloy Cup

Youth Male of the Year sponsored by McKeever Sports, Intersport:
Caleb Ralston, who had a superb year claiming the U18 Irish Boys singles, doubles and mixed doubles titles as well as the prestigious William Fry Junior Lawn Tennis singles, doubles and mixed doubles titles.

Youth Female of the Year sponsored McKeever Sports, Intersport:
Niamh McKiverigan, who finished 1st in the Senior 1 women and 1st in the Junior Category in both the Ulster and Irish National Points Series, as well as in the Ulster League.  Competing in the British National Points series, Niamh finished as the 4th Junior.