Ballymoney's finest sportspeople honoured

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Bowlers Rodney & Barry Kane

The town held its annual sports awards ahead of the Causeway Coast and Glens Awards

Ballymoney's finest athletes were recognised in their annual Sports Award ceremony.  Like the Coleraine awards, the Ballymoney awards count as a regional heat towards next month's overall Causeway Coast and Glens Sports Awards

Mortorcycle star Michael Dunlop was named 'Best Sportsman'.  The Isle of Man TT Senior and Superbike Winner also holds the fastest TT Course Record. He was also the Superbike winner at the North West 200 and has four Superbike wins at Southern 100.

Triathlete Claire McAvoy picked up the 'Best Sportswoman' gong.  Claire is a newcomer to triathlon but has achieved a podium finish in every triathlon she completed during the 2015/2016 season in Northern Ireland. She was the second overall female Irish finisher for her age group at The Ironman European Championship in Frankfurt and was also represented Ireland.

Bowls pair Rodney Kane and Barry Kane picked up the 'Sports Team of the Year' award.  They are Ireland’s Pairs Champions, have competed at a national level and were named The British Isles Pairs Champs.

There was success for the Dalriada School U16 Girls Volleyball Team, who were named 'Junior Sports Team of the Year, while the Junior Sportswoman award went to archer Laura McGahey.

Dalriada Volleyball Team Photo Credit:

Given the strength of the Junior Sportsman category, the judges decided to add an under-14 category;  that award went to swimmer Andrew Harris.  While the over 14 category went to Cyclist Shay Donley.

The 'Sports Administrator' prize went to Kathryn Speers of Ballymoney Rugby Club.   Kathryn coaches the under 8s and is an integral part of the club as a whole. Her "organisational approach, fundraising efforts" were commended at the ceremony. Judges added that, "she has helped to create an ‘all inclusive’ family atmosphere within Ballymoney Rugby Club and is the first point of contact for all new members. Her drive, kindness and enthusiasm is very clear to see."

Archer Laura McGahey Photo Credit:

Coach of the year went to Ballymoney Swimming Club's June Traill.  June has been head coach of the swimming club for the past 10 years.  Meanwhile the Ballymoney Rugby Fours were given a 'Special Merit Award' after winning McCambley Cup, The Ravenhill Cup and The Robinson Memorial Cup.

Members of Ballymoney Rugby Fours Photo Credit:

The special award went to archer John Nicholl.  John was born deaf and then subsequently lost his sight as an adult through Usher’s syndrome. He began archery three years ago and this year he won the NI Championships and was runner up in The British Visually Impaired Championships. However, his most significant success was being placed 2nd at The European Visually Impaired Championships in France. To date, John is the only visually impaired archer who is also deaf.

Ballymoney Hockey Club's Diane Kirgen.  Diane has been playing hockey since she was a school girl and since then, she has been a key member of Ballymoney Club.  She won the McConnell Shield in 1995 as well as being part of the 1st XI team who remained unbeaten in the league and reached the top league in Ulster in 1997. Throughout the years, Diane has had many roles including 1st XI Captain, Club Captain and Club president.

Finally, 'International Sports Person of the Year' went to archer Chris McFadyn.  Chris represented GB at the Invictus Games in Florida where he was the GB Archery Team Captain. He won a silver medal in the individual event and secured gold in the team event. 

Archer Chris McFadyn Photo Credit:

Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Alderman Maura Hickey praised all the award winners: “Although a small town in terms of population" she said "it is huge in the amount of sport champions it turns out year after year."

Alderman Hickey added that she hopes "this wealth of talent continues to bring success and honour to our region for many years to come.” 

The Main Causeway Coast and Glens Awards will take place on Friday the 4th November.

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