Personal bests and individual goals were well and truly smashed last month, as over 300 people of all ages and abilities took part in the first ever Virtual ABC 10K race across the borough’s city, towns and villages.
Organised by Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough (ABC) Council and supported by Armagh Athletics Club and Banbridge Athletics Club, the virtual event was arranged in place of the Bann 10K, Craigavon Lakes 10K and the Armagh 10-mile road race due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Uniting everyone from walkers and joggers to fun runners and seasoned athletes, the inclusive event saw over 300 participants successfully complete the 10K distance between Saturday 19 June and Sunday 27 June at a time and place, which was convenient to them.
Just like the wide variety of race competitors, the event was filled with many different stories of resolve and motivation – as for some it was the culmination of 10 weeks of training on ABC Council’s Virtual 5K to 10K Programme and for others it was the perfect opportunity to push themselves towards achieving a new personal best time.
For added incentive, a number of spot prizes were up for grabs including vouchers from Get Active ABC, Rushmere Shopping Centre and Café IncredABLE at South Lake Leisure Centre.
The 2021 Virtual ABC 10K prize-winners and their back stories are:
DIY finish line – Ewa Henderson
A recent participant of ABC Council’s Virtual 5K to 10K Programme, Ewa Henderson completed her first 10K along the Newry Canal Towpath, using chalk for the start and finish lines. In celebration of this personal milestone, Ewa’s husband was at hand to cheer her across the finish line.
Best of the borough – Audrey Buckley, Susan Hanna and Lisa Sherman
Keeping the running up since graduating from council’s Couch to 5K Programme in October; friends Audrey Buckley, Susan Hanna and Lisa Sherman completed their 10K at Edenvilla Park.
Family Involvement – Jonathan and Hannah Ross
Father and daughter duo Jonathan and Hannah Ross, both started running during lockdown when Hannah began a school running challenge. Now avid runners, the pair completed their first 10K run with flying colours.
Inspiration Award – Stephen Turner
Another graduate of council’s Virtual 5K to 10K Programme, Stephen Turner completed his first 10K on Father’s Day – with cheers of delight from his eight-year-old daughter Ruby at the finish line. From being unable to run back in December to then completing a 10K within six months, Stephen is truly a wonderful role model for his daughter.
Congratulating everyone that took part in the event, Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, Alderman Glenn Barr said:
“Very well done to the hundreds of children, adults and families that took part in our first virtual 10K race – and many congratulations to our worthy prize-winners.
“Albeit very different to previous years, we hope the convenience and flexibility of this virtual event has helped reach and appeal to people who may not have previously considered it. Now with this achievement firmly under everyone’s belt I would encourage everyone to continue running and keep up the good work.”
You can check out gallery of pictures submitted by participants here: https://www.armaghbanbridgecraigavon.gov.uk/hundreds-take-on-virtual-abc-10k-race/.
To find out more about running programmes across the ABC Council area, contact Amanda Mogey, Assistant Sports Development Officer at email@example.com.
New Business Start-Up Grant Scheme Launched
Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough (ABC) Council launches new Business Start-Up Grant Scheme to support local budding entrepreneurs.
Led by ABC Council in partnership with Armagh Business Centre, Banbridge Enterprise Centre and Craigavon Industrial Development Organisation, the new Scheme will offer a limited number of cash grants of up to £500 to assist with the development of new businesses across the borough.
Now accepting applications, the Scheme is open to new start-ups based in the borough who have joined the Go For It Programme since 1 July 2021, completed their business plan by 30 September 2021 and will begin trading within six months of finishing the Programme, demonstrating the greatest potential for growth.
Speaking at the launch of the Business Start-Up Grant Scheme, Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, Alderman Glenn Barr said:
“With an abundance of skilled, ambitious and hardworking people, our borough has long been praised as a strong entrepreneurial region. As a council, we recognise the important role entrepreneurs play in ensuring inclusive recovery and growth across our local economy, which is why we are committed to continuing our support within this key business sector.
“We hope this Scheme will help support the creation and sustainability of new business start-ups within the borough; and I would encourage anyone that is eligible to speak to their local enterprise agency to find out more.”
Helping eligible entrepreneurs fund some of the expenses associated with the start-up process, the grant aid can be used to cover everything from rent, rates, new equipment and stock to training memberships, courses and the fit out of business premises.
Speaking on behalf of the partnering enterprise agencies, Dermot Hicks said:
“We are delighted to be able to offer this support to emerging businesses in the borough and we hope that it will encourage more people to pursue their passion of starting their own business.”
To find out more about the Programme, eligibility and assessment process, get in touch with your local enterprise agency:
Council Makes ‘Summer of Play’ Pledge
Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough (ABC) Council gets behind the ‘Summer of Play’ campaign to help give children the space, time and freedom to play this summer as Covid-19 restrictions ease.
From fun-filled summer schemes, £1 swims, wide-ranging sports sessions to energetic dance clubs, imaginative play programmes and more taking place right across council leisure centres, community centres, parks and open spaces, the borough’s youngest residents are all set to have a summer to remember!
But, wait there’s more! As ABC Council cannot celebrate this year’s National Play Day in the usual way, it will instead be rolling out an exciting new programme, ‘It’s Good to Chalk’ during its summer schemes, play programmes and Love Parks Week initiatives this July and August.
With boxes of wonderfully colourful chalk, children on these programmes can let their imaginations run wild and create everything from beautiful pavement drawings to original outdoor games and activities. What’s more, the programme will encourage the children to talk about their creations, helping them explore and express their thoughts and feelings.
Deputy Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, Councillor Jackie Donnelly said:
“The pandemic has posed a challenging and uncertain time for many, not least the borough’s children and young people – with many having to spend large periods of time indoors, inactive and isolated from friends.
“Now as Covid-19 restrictions ease, we are delighted to pledge our support to the ‘Summer of Play’ campaign, which champions the importance of children having the time and safe space they need to reconnect and play with each other, and to enjoy a wide range of playful activities, so they can start to recover.
“With so many exciting events, programmes and initiatives happening across our borough, we hope our youngest residents will have the freedom to have endless fun with their friends!”
ABC Council is also encouraging local families to try ‘It’s Good to Chalk’ at home this summer. So, why not grab some chalk and bring all the colours of the rainbow to your own driveway – don’t worry it’ll wash off.
As we would love to see your creations, please send any pictures of your chalk-filled fun to our Play Development Officer, Joan Noade on: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like to find out more about the ‘Summer of Play’ campaign, get tips and advice on all things play, and more visit: https://www.summerofplay.co.uk/.