Local rising sports stars receive a financial boost and masterclass

Megan Marrs of City of Lisburn AC.
Megan Marrs of City of Lisburn AC.

Local rising young sports stars are amongst five athletes from across Northern Ireland have been awarded valuable support to help them fulfil their potential.

Five athletes will receive a £1,000 bursary, along with access to a unique professional development masterclass, thanks to Dale Farm Athletes’ Academy in partnership with the Mary Peters Trust.

Lisburn gymnast Casey Jo Bell (14 years old), tennis player Peter Bothwell from Hillsborough (18 years old), Belfast hurdler Megan Marrs, who trains with City of Lisburn AC (17 years old), golf’s Annabel Wilson (13 years old) from Aghalee, and hockey player Ian Sloan from Stewartstown (20 years old) will each receive the £1,000 bursary.

As well as the welcomed financial support, each of the five athletes will participate in The Dale Farm Athletes’ Academy Masterclass in early 2015, through which they will meet and learn from the insights and experience of experts from the fields of professional sports, health and nutrition, sports psychology and media relations.

The athletes will also visit primary schools across Northern Ireland Dale Farm School Sports Day Programme to inspire upcoming little athletes, as part of Dale Farm’s commitment to encouraging active lifestyles at a young age.

Jason Hempton, Commercial Director – Branded Products, Dale Farm said: “There was a record number of applications to this year’s Dale Farm Athletes’ Academy – proof of the level of world class sporting talent on our doorstep.

“The selected five athletes bring an exciting mix to this year’s Academy, representing a range of sports and an impressive display of talent.

“We are proud to support this group of inspiring young athletes on their journey towards competing at the very top of their game.

“We’re certain that Casey Jo, Annabel, Peter, Ian and Megan will become fantastic sporting ambassadors for Northern Ireland sports in the very near future.”

Dame Mary Peters CH DBE, said: “The budget for sport in Northern Ireland has already been decreased and is likely to be reduced even more this year.

“The importance of support from Dale Farm is therefore even more necessary than ever. Dale Farm has been a partner of the Mary Peters Trust for many years and the academy of athletes they have supported is growing, year on year.

“The five young athletes selected will continue to thrive and develop with the help of this funding. We all look forward to hearing about their progress and success.”