Sport Lisburn & Castlereagh has paid tribute to local sporting talent during the 2015 Draynes Farm Sports Awards held at a prestigious ceremony at Lagan Valley Island, Lisburn.
The event, which was attended by over 200 guests, was hosted by Sports Journalist, Graham Little and included an appearance from special guest Stephen Ferris, Ulster and Irish Lion.
The Sports Awards recognise individuals and teams from Lisburn & Castlereagh who have excelled within their chosen sport or contributed to sport through coaching.
Taekwondo Champion, Peter Stewart was named as Sports Personality of the Year.
Peter who marked his 20th anniversary coaching and competing for Lisburn Taekwondo Club, achieved gold and bronze medals in the British Internationals, gold in both Copenhagen and Irish Internationals and silver in the Taekwondo Commonwealth Games.
Fell runner, Diane Wilson was awarded second place and fencer, Phillip Slater third place in this category.
Junior Sports Personality of the Year was won by swimmer Rachel Bethel who competed at the European Games in the 100 metre and 200 metres freestyle and 4 x 100 metre relay, breaking Irish Junior and Ulster Senior records.
Rachel also competed at the World Junior Championships in Singapore and the Junior Commonwealth Games.
Second place in the category was Taekwondo champion James Nicholson and third place was athlete Ben Fisher.
Attending the awards ceremony, Alderman Paul Porter, Chairman of the Council’s Leisure & Community Development Committee said, “The Sports Awards are an opportunity to celebrate the sporting talent across the Council area.
“Any achievement in sport is testimony to years of hard work, training and dedication therefore it is important to publicly recognise the accomplishments of all our nominees here tonight.
“Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council firmly believes that sport matters – not just to those teams and individuals who aspire to reach the highest levels of performance and competition but also to the wider community who take part for the fun and enjoyment of sport.
“I would like to congratulate all the award and bursary winners for their achievements in sport and to everyone behind the scenes for their commitment to sport within our local communities.”
Club of the Year was won by Salto Gymnastics Club with Hazama Judo Club taking second place and Lisburn Taekwondo Club third place. School Team of the Year was awarded to Wallace High School 1st XI Hockey Team with Friends’ School U13 Hockey Team taking second place and Laurelhill Community College U13 Football Team taking third place.
Nineteen year old, Dempsey Andrews was presented with the Coach of the Year Award for her dedication to ice skating through her work at her Ice Skating Academy at Dundonald International Ice Bowl.
Second prize was awarded to Mark Spence from Hazama Judo Club and third place Wayne Hughes from Derriaghy Cricket Club.
The Senior Team of the Year was won by Lisburn Golf Club Fourball Team with South Antrim Hockey Club 1st XI taking second place and Lisburn City Athletics Club Women’s Relay Team third place.
Lisburn Golf Club Junior Team was awarded first prize in the Junior Team of the Year. Lisburn Gladiators Fencing Team achieved second place and Lisburn City Swimming Club Girls U12 Medley Relay Team third place in this category.
The Merit Award was presented to joint winners Don McMahon and Carmel Quinn.
Don has helped hundreds of young people and adults train and enjoy football through The Don’s Football Club.
Carmel Quinn is secretary for Townland Boxing Club but often goes above and beyond for the members and club itself. Phillip Baxter from Lagan Valley Orienteering came a close third.
During the evening, Sport Lisburn & Castlereagh also awarded a number of bursaries to athletes and winners.
Jimmy Walker, Chairman of Sport Lisburn & Castlereagh added his support for the event. He said, “The Sports Awards is definitely one of the highlights of the year for Sport Lisburn & Castlereagh as it gives us the opportunity to recognise, honour and congratulate athletes, teams and coaches for their hard work and dedication to their chosen sport.
“We hope our nominees will inspire others to participate in sport and help develop sporting talent and healthier lifestyles in Lisburn & Castlereagh.
“Finally I would like to thank Draynes Farm for kindly supporting tonight’s event.”