FOLLOWING the official presentation at the European Parliament in Brussels late last year as European City of Sport for 2013, Lisburn City Council held a launch event this week to celebrate the honour at the Lagan Valley LeisurePlex in Lisburn.

Friday, 18th January 2013, 10:30 am

A banner was also unveiled at Lagan Valley Island depicting the award.

Guests at the event, hosted by the Chairman of the Council’s Leisure Services Committee, Cllr Thomas Beckett, included Dame Mary Peters, Olympian and ambassador for Northern Ireland, Dr Janet Gray, World Champion Water Skier, Michael McKillop, Paralympic gold medallist and Kurt Walker, Bronze World Youth Boxing Champion who holds seven all-Ireland titles.

There were representatives from the sporting industry including the Northern Ireland Executive, the IFA, Sport NI and the NI Sports Forum, MLAs and Council representatives. The Council was also delighted to welcome European City of Sport Advisory group members to the event.

Lisburn City sports clubs and schools were in attendance, representing a variety of sports including golf, badminton, fencing, bowling and netball and a number of sporting events were showcased including judo, gymnastics and boxing.

Guests were greeted by Cllr Beckett and the Mayor of Lisburn City Council, Alderman William Leathem.

Councillor Beckett said: “We want 2013 to be a really exciting time for sport in Lisburn and to raise the profile of the City locally, nationally and internationally. Our programme of events for the year was launched today and includes new events as well as building on the success of established and popular sporting events. The home-grown talent and the variety of sporting clubs and the choice on offer is something the sporting fraternity in the City are very proud of.”

The Mayor, Alderman William Leathem, commented: “It is very gratifying that the European Capitals and Cities of Sport Federation has recognised that Lisburn sport is of a standard to warrant this award. I would like to pay tribute to all those involved in sport, for playing their part in Lisburn achieving this wonderful honour and I am delighted to see representatives from across the sporting industry in Northern Ireland represented today.”