The local sports fraternity celebrated another memorable year at the City Hotel last night as Derry City and Strabane District Council, in association with the District Sports Forum, hosted the 2018 Derry and Strabane Sports Awards.
A total of 16 awards were presented as Strabane runner Ann Marie McGlynn’s record breaking season was recognised with the overall Sports Star of the Year award and legendary Derry kickboxer Finneen Bradley was inducted into the Hall of Fame.
The awards were presented by special guests on the night Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor Maolíosa McHugh, Paralympic Champion runner Dr Michael McKillop and Team GB Athletics Coach Stephen Maguire.
Speaking at the presentation, Mayor McHugh commended all the winners and nominees on their successful seasons. “It was an honour for me to recognise all the winners and nominees in the 2018 Derry and Strabane Sports Awards and I would like to congratulate everyone who played their part in another record breaking year for local sport,” he said.
Hard Work and Dedication
“The awards were an ideal way to acknowledge and reward the hard work and dedication that so many local people put into sport at all levels across the City and District. Our local sports people have once again achieved notable success at local, national and international level and I am delighted we have had the opportunity to celebrate that.
“The awards were also just recognition for the many unsung grassroots heroes in our Council area whose commitment and dedication to their communities is genuinely inspiring.”
Recognising All Levels
Recognising coaches of all levels is a major element of the awards and popular City of Derry Spartans Coach Jim Herron was awarded Coach of the Year while Chris Power received the Community Coach of the Year awards.
The Children’s Coach of the Year went to Conor Laverty while Steelstown GAA Coach Martina McCafferty received the Female Coach of the Year award, Liam Lunch was awarded Young Coach of the Year and Strabane’s Bill McIntyre was crowned Disability Coach of the Year.
In the team sections Holy Cross College Equestrian team received the School of the Year award while Aghyaran St Davog’s all-conquering ladies footballers were Team of the Year.
Other winners included Sports Star with a disability Damien Neeson, Special Award Winner Ethan Friel, Young Female Sports Star of the Year Sommer Lecky and joint Male Sports Star of the Year Jude Gallagher and Joshua Green.
A new category this year was the Active Travel Award which seeks to recognise the efforts made by groups who have gone above and beyond in promoting and encouraging people to walk and cycle more.
The award went to the Gransha based Foyle U3A who have engaged with close to 500 older people to encourage them to walk and cycle more.
The full list of winners were:
- Active Travel Award: Foyle U3A
- Coach of the Year: Jim Herron
- Community Coach of Year: Chris Power
- Children’s Coach of the Year: Conor Laverty
- Female Coach of the Year: Martin McCafferty
- Young Coach of the Year: Liam Lynch
- Disability Coach of the Year: Bill McIntyre
- Sports Star of the Year: Anne Marie
- Sports Star with a Disability: Damien Neeson
- Young Male Sports Star of Year: Jude Gallagher and Joshua Green
- Young Female Sports Star of Year: Sommer Lecky
- School Team of the Year: Holy Cross College
- Team of the Year: Aghyaran St Davogs
- Ladies Team of the Year: Castlederg,
- Club of the Year: Maydown ABC
- Special Award: Ethan Finel
- Hall of Fame: Finneen Bradley
Tales from the Octagon Comes to The Ulster Hall
Michael Bisping, UFC Hall of Fame fighter and former Middleweight Champion, is coming to Belfast’s Ulster Hall on October 22nd 2022 to give his supporters the opportunity to hear his incredible story in his own words with ‘An Evening With Michael Bisping… TALES FROM THE OCTAGON’.
His journey has taken him from England’s North West through to the top of the MMA world, becoming the only British champion in UFC history. Alongside a burgeoning Hollywood movie career, the latest chapter in his life sees Michael host a hugely successful podcast, as well as commentating for ESPN, BT Sports and formerly Fox Sports. From fighting stories to life outside the ring, his unwavering drive and determination will make for an inspirational and entertaining evening for all UFC and sport fans alike.
When working numerous dead-end jobs to make ends meet whilst all the time training in boxing, kickboxing and Jiu Jitsu, Michael realised he had the potential to be a world-class fighter and doing so would be his best opportunity to provide for his family. He rededicated himself to this craft. Michael eventually went on to win The Ultimate Fighter 3 in 2006, kick-starting his professional career, and ten years later in 2016 at UFC 199, he became the first British fighter to become a UFC Champion.
After an incredible 13 year career, which included the loss of his right eye, Michael became a UFC analyst with BT Sport and ESPN, named FanSided MMA’s 2019 Analyst of the Year and authored Sunday Times Best Seller Quitter’s Never Win. He’s the host of the “Believe You Me” podcast and has launched a successful acting career, having been featured in xXx Return of Xander Cage, Den of Thieves and announcing his latest roles in Den of Thieves 2 and the lead in the upcoming film titled The Journeyman. His documentary titled ‘Bisping’ was released in 2021.
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”.