Craigavon Civic and Conference Centre, rolled out the red carpet on Wednesday to welcome over 200 guests to the Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Senior Sports Awards 2018.
The awards were 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 UTV Sport, featured a total of 57 nominations shortlisted across nine 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 2017.
Special Guests: Back Row L-R: Denise Watson (UTV Sport); Martin Walsh (Rushmere Shopping; Edith Jamison Chairman of Armagh, Banbridge & Craigavon Sports Forum Centre) Front Row L-R: Lord Mayor Alderman Gareth Wilson; Special Guest Dr Michael McKillop (Paralympic Champion)
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, Alderman Gareth Wilson, said: “I’m delighted to be here with all of you to celebrate your success.
“Participating at the highest level requires talent and dedicated determined effort, sacrifice and substantial support from backroom specialists, friends and family.
“The Council and the Sports Forum are in awe of your achievements’ and we hope that you will enjoy this
evening’s event which is in honour of everyone in the room.”
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.
The Chairman of the Sports Forum extended their 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.
They also paid thanks to headline sponsor Rushmere Shopping Centre and each of the individual category sponsors.
The awardees recognised at this year’s awards ceremony are as follows:
Volunteer Awards sponsored by Raffles
Emmanuel Bell, Craigavon Cowboys American Football Club; Toni Hannigan, Banbridge Cycling Club; Joan Ross, Banbridge Special Olympics Club; Brian Campbell, Tullylish Gaelic Athletic Club; Andrea Wilson, Dromore Ladies Hockey Club; John McConville, Banbridge and Rathfriland Karate Club; Eileen McKinney, Armagh Special Olympics Swimming Club; Eilidh
Gilmour, Portadown Panthers Learning Disability Tag Rugby Club.
Sports Person with a Physical Disability sponsored by Irwins Quality Aggregates
World bronze medallist Niall McVeigh from Banbridge District Badminton Club
Sports Person with a Learning Disability sponsored by Ulster Carpets
Special Olympics Winter World Games Silver and bronze medallist Cyril Walker from Ski Ability Northern Ireland
Senior Team of the Year sponsored by House of Sport, Intersport
Irish Senior Cup winners Waringstown Cricket Club’s Men’s 1 st XI
Senior Coach of the Year sponsored by Sport Northern Ireland
Irish Cup and League winning 1st XI head coach from Banbridge Hockey Club Mark Tumilty
Club of the Year sponsored by Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council
Tullylish Gaelic Athletic Club who developed their facilities and also excelled on the field reaching eight championship finals.
Chairman’s Award sponsored by Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Sports Forum
Hanover Football Club
Service to Sport Award sponsored by Henry Murray & Co
Greg Loughran, Craigavon Cowboys American Football Club; Collette McKeever, St Patrick’s Camogie Club, Keady; Gerald Beggs, Banbridge Cycling Club
Sportswoman of the Year sponsored by Rushmere Shopping Centre
Seventh in the World University Games & Double Irish Champion Emma Mitchell from Queen’s University Belfast Athletics Club
Sportsman of the Year sponsored by Rushmere Shopping Centre
Double World Cup Gold Medallist Mark Downey from Banbridge Cycling Club