The red carpet was rolled out at Armagh City Hotel on Friday (October 14) as 250 guests attended a glittering awards ceremony to celebrate the achievements of the borough’s high-performing athletes and hear the winners of this year’s Junior Sports Awards announced.
Organised by Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Sports Forum and sponsored by Manfreight Limited, the event showcased the wealth of young sporting talent in the Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough with many of the 62 short-listed nominees representing Ulster, Ireland and Great Britain and competing at European and world level.
Lord Mayor Councillor Paul Greenfield joined the audience in congratulating the athletes, teams, coaches, clubs and volunteers for being nominated for an award and for their hard work, commitment and personal sacrifice that they each put into achieving sporting success. He said:
“Tonight I feel very privileged to stand here before you all and acknowledge your incredible achievements. Every year we, as a council, continue to be in awe of the sporting excellence achieved by individuals, schools and clubs in this borough.
“It is our pleasure to recognise your talents through these awards, and in doing so, hopefully encourage you to go on to achieve bigger and better things. You are all inspirational role models to us here tonight and to your families and communities. You are all winners tonight whether you take home an award or not.”
Before the winners were announced, compere U105’s Denise Watson invited local athletes, cyclist Matthew Teggart and boxers Jake Tucker and Clepson Dos Santos, up on stage to share their personal experiences of representing Northern Ireland at their first Commonwealth Games held in Birmingham this summer.
Commonwealth Games athletes Matthew Teggart, Jake Tucker, Clepson Dos Santos
are pictured with Lord Mayor Councillor Paul Greenfield and Denise Watson.Following this, the winners across 12 categories were announced:
Volunteer Awards sponsored by Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council
Kate Crilly (St Brenda’s Camogie Club, Ballymacnab), Hannah Brownlee (Portadown Ladies Hockey Club) and Ben Robinson (Banbridge and Rathfriland Karate Club)
Junior School Team of the Year sponsored by Armagh Sports and Trophies
Ulster and All Ireland Champions Royal School Armagh U14 Girls Hockey Team.
Junior Club Team of the Year sponsored by Manfreight Limited
Northern Ireland Champions Portadown Ladies Hockey Club’s U15 Team
Junior Male of the Year sponsored by Moss Construction
Ulster, All Ireland and Irish Junior Cadet Champion Lochlainn Beagan from Sean Doran’s Boxing Club, Keady
Junior Female of the Year sponsored by Donaghy’s Shoefair Sports
Irish All Round Gymnastic Champion and member of the Irish Olympic start squad Estella Volkoff from Salto Gymnastic Club
Youth School Team of the Year sponsored by Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council
Double Ulster Champions and All Ireland Finalists Banbridge Academy 1st XI Boys Hockey Team
Youth Club Team of the Year sponsored by McKeever Sports
Antrim Division 1 League and ‘A’ grade Champions, St Mary’s Gaelic Athletic Club’s Minor Gaelic Football Team
School Coach of the Year sponsored by Sport Northern Ireland
William Moore – successful coach to Ulster and All Ireland winners Royal School Armagh U14 Girls Hockey Team
Club Coach of the Year sponsored by Sport Northern Ireland
Head coach of Portadown Ladies Hockey Club’s U13 and U15 Northern Ireland Champions as well Ulster U18 Inter Provincial Champions Suzanne Evans.
Chairman’s Award sponsored by Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Sports Forum
Ulster and Ireland U18 Rugby Player Michael Burnett from City of Armagh Rugby Club who played for Ireland in the Six Nations Tournament. Michael is also part of the Armagh Minors Squad.
Youth Male of the Year sponsored by Total Hockey
Ulster and Irish Hockey player Charlie Rowe who made his debut for the Irish Senior Men’s Team and captained Banbridge Academy 1st XI Boys Hockey Team to be double Ulster Champions and All Ireland Finalists, as well as the Ulster U18 Team who were Inter Provincial Champions.
Youth Female of the Year sponsored by Manfreight Limited
Great Britain archer Kathryn Morton from Ballyvally Archers, Banbridge who won Individual Silver and Team Silver and Bronze at the European Field Archery Championships as well as Individual Bronze at the European Indoor Championships. Kathryn has a World Senior Ranking of 12th and 1st in U21.
Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Sports Forum Chairman Cathal O’Neill thanked the council for organising the event, the headline sponsor Manfreight Limited as well as the sponsors of each individual award category.