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McGarrity heads to the Dunadry Hotel for the UAC Easter Stages Rally

Derek McGarrity in full flight at the Bishopscourt Stages event, round 1 of the Mc Grady Insurance MSA ANICC Stage Rally Championship 2018. Credit: Bill Swann/i2i photography

Derek McGarrity, current leader and runner up in 2017, in the Mc Grady Insurance MSA ANICC Stage Rally Championship 2018 has joined the growing entry list for the UAC Easter Stages Rally next month. Derek will be accompanied by Paddy Robinson in their Bishopscourt Stages winning Subaru Impreza S14 WRC. Rally fans will be treated to see this machine in full flight on the tarmac of County Antrim. Spectators will also have an opportunity to experience the dynamic Mini WRC of two other local men from Ballymena; Alan Carmichael and Ivor Lamont currently sitting in second place in the ANICC Championship.

Irish Tarmac Championship

The organisers of the event are delighted to have the entry from Derek which is based in the Dunadry Hotel; not too far from his home. The Hotel has 80 bedrooms which are quickly being booked by crews eager to experience the convivial atmosphere and fine dining provided by this latest acquisition of the McKeever Hotel Group. This is one of many fine locations for visitors to stay in the Antrim & Newtownabbey Borough Council area.

This new two-day rally is the third round of the Irish Tarmac Championship beginning in Ballyclare on 6th April. Day one sees the 6 competitive stages focussing around Antrim and Templepatrick which is why the Dunadry hotel is an ideal location for our Headquarters commented Graeme Stewart the Event Director.

Day two of the event also features six stages, this time centred around the service area in Ballyclare with the finish at the Ecos Centre, Ballymena on the afternoon of Saturday 7th April.

McKeever Hotel Group

The McKeever Hotel Group have a range of comfortable and affordable rooms available for competitors and spectators in their Corrs Corner Hotel, Newtownabbey; Dunsilly Hotel, Antrim and Adair Arms Hotel in Ballymena but you will need to be nippy as rooms are booking up quickly.

Eugene McKeever MBE, managing director of McKeever Hotel Group said; “At the core of our business is our family ethos to provide consistent quality and service to our guests. We know our market well and we are constantly investing and reinvesting in the business to ensure we meet the needs of our customers. We will continue to work hard and provide the high level of comfort and tradition that is expected in all of our hotels”.

Entries close at Noon on Friday 23rd March so if you want to join Derek and his ‘dominoes’, get your entry in  and book your accommodation at the Dunadry Hotel, rally headquarters.


Team GB Announce First Ever Skateboarders to Compete at the Olympic Games

The British Olympic Association (BOA) has today announced the two skateboarders set to compete for Team GB at the rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Sky Brown and Bombette Martin will both compete for Team GB in the skateboard park discipline in Tokyo, after qualifying in third and eighteenth position respectively during the World Skate qualification season.

Brown will become Team GB’s youngest ever summer Olympian at the age of 13 years and 11 days, surpassing Margery Hinton who was 13 years and 44 days when she competed at Amsterdam 1928 in swimming. In her last international event, Brown produced her best ever competition run, to win a silver medal at the Dew Tour, USA and took third  place in the World Championships in Rio de Janeiro the season before, cementing her ranking as third best in the world.

Martin, 14, has had a succession of good competition results in the last two years. In April she won the Skateboard GB x Habito National Championships and more recently finished in the top 20 at the Dew Tour, USA. Martin is the daughter of John ‘Bomber’ Martin, an ex-amateur boxer from Birmingham.

Skateboarding will make its Olympic debut in Tokyo and sees male and female competitors compete in both street and park disciplines.

Team GB Chef de Mission for the Tokyo Olympic Games, Mark England, said: “It is incredibly exciting to announce Sky and Bombette to Team GB for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Not only will they both make history as Team GB’s first ever skateboarders, but Sky will also make history of her own as she becomes our youngest ever summer Olympian.

“Competing at the heart of the Games at the Ariake Urban Sports Park, I am sure the skateboarding park competition will capture the imagination of the Team GB fans, just like freestyle snow sports did when they were introduced to the Olympic Programme. I couldn’t think of two better athletes to act as ambassadors for Team GB in this exciting new Olympic sport and we wish Sky and Bombette the very best of luck in their final preparations.”

James Hope-Gill, CEO at Skateboard GB said: “We are so excited to see two GB skateboarders qualify for the Games. Both girls have such amazing talent and are an inspiration to other skateboarders out there, showing people that anything is possible, no matter your age.

“Over the last two years we have worked with Sky and Bombette to help them with their preparations and today’s announcement shows how their hard work has paid-off. We wish them the best of luck”.

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Mayor Welcomes New Stand at Greenisland Football Club

Pictured is Mayor Councillor Peter Johnston, Deputy Mayor Andrew Wilson, Cllr Bobby Hadden, MEABC Director of Operations Philip Thompson and Mervyn Montgomery, Greenisland Football Club.

Mayor, Cllr Peter Johnston along with Deputy Mayor, Cllr Andrew Wilson and Cllr Bobby Hadden visited Greenisland Football Club to see the commencement of the works to provide a new 128-seater spectator stand and turnstiles, which will bring the grounds up to meet Intermediate League status requirements.

Mid and East Antrim Council in partnership with Greenisland Football Club have been working together to deliver this new stand. Through working in partnership, the club have been able to secure £45,000 of external funding and along with a contribution from the club Council are contributing £35,000 to deliver the £90,000 spectator stand.

Mayor, Cllr Peter Johnston said: Once again, I would like to pay tribute to Greenisland Football Club and in particular the time and commitment that the club members put into progressing this project.

“As a Council, we have been delighted to help fund a portion of this work and to enable the vision and objectives of the club to be met.

“Greenisland Football Club are a fantastic club and it is no surprise that they have recently been recognised from UEFA as one of the top grass roots football clubs in Europe.”

Mervyn Montgomery, Greenisland Football Club said: “We are indebted to the on-going support of our External Funders and Mid & East Antrim Borough Council, to enable us to build upon the existing facilities at Greenisland and to develop further our Community Sports Programs and Longer Terms Plans for the Club.”

This new stand will further enhance the major investment Mid and East Antrim Council made in 2018 through the delivery of a new 3G facility on the back of £100,000 of funding the club secured from SportNI.

The Club and Council had also secured external funding to upgrade the grass pitches, which are owned by the Council, in 2018 at a cost of £50,000.

Mid and East Antrim Council are committed to working with all groups within the borough to ensure that our ratepayers and residents have top class facilities which will improve their quality of life and their health and well-being.

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