Bursary will help Ballymoney footballer Keri achieve her goals

Hughes Insurance, as part of an ongoing bursary partnership with Mary Peters Trust, has announced footballing teen, Keri Halliday (16) from Ballymoney, as the next recipient.

Tuesday, 1st June 2021, 10:44 am

Keri, who has been playing football since she was just five years old, plays on Northern Ireland’s U17 squad and hopes to follow in the footsteps of the current Women’s squad who are on their way to the Euros next year. Keri been selected by the Mary Peters Trust to receive a £500 bursary from Hughes Insurance to help her on her sporting journey.

Lady Mary Peters said: “Northern Ireland is home to so many young, sporting talents and I am delighted that my Trust plays a part in helping them to realise their potential. The teenage years are very important and can often determine a pre-elite athlete’s success, so it is wonderful that Hughes Insurance is financially supporting Keri and others like her with a generous bursary. I congratulate Keri on her accomplishments to date and wish her all the very best for this year and well into the bright future she has ahead.”

Keri has racked up an impressive list of experiences and achievements including being awarded Woman of the Match when she represented Northern Ireland against Scotland in 2019 and captaining Ballymoney United Girls as they won both the Foyle Cup and the South Belfast League.

Harriet McCandless, Senior Marketing Manager at Hughes Insurance, Keri and Dame Mary Peters

She says that whilst the Covid-19 pandemic did upset her training schedule she has not been put off and would still encourage all girls to get involved.

Keri said: “Covid-19 had a hugely negative affect on my training schedule as scheduled sessions were stopped completely, our Cup Final was cancelled, and the Leagues were stopped too. Thankfully, I was able to adapt and kept training in my garden to keep up my skills and fitness and also help my mental and physical health. I am always encouraging girls to get involved in football or any sport, as it is so helpful for the mind and body. I have seen an increase in female sport over the past few years and I think that is amazing.

“Sport is also a great opportunity to see new places and make new friends. For example, there are a lot of tournaments coming up in the summer such as the European Qualifiers and the Super Cup. I was actually thrilled to hear that I would be awarded the bursary from Hughes Insurance and the Mary Peters Trust as it will help support travel to these if they go ahead as we’re hoping. The bursary will also help with training equipment which will support me to become the best player I can to be selected for these tournaments.”

Along with being selected for these tournaments, Keri has impressive long-term ambitions including having a long-term career with Northern Ireland throughout her teens and well into adulthood. And Keri is not alone with a huge eco-system of passionate, determined and talented teens across Northern Ireland all just beginning their athletic journeys and striving to achieve sporting greatness.

Harriet McCandless, Senior Marketing Manager at Hughes Insurance said: “Mary Peters Trust does fantastic work supporting athletes on their journeys and it has been inspiring to meet the athletes and hear first-hand of the difficulties they’ve had to overcome in the last 12 months. We are glad to support ten athletes as part of our bursary programme with the Trust and we hope it will help them achieve success on their sporting journeys this year.”

The Mary Peters Trust is the only province-wide organisation to provide support to young athletes from all recognised sports. The further seven successful bursary recipients will be announced throughout 2021. To keep up to date with the selection, follow Hughes Insurance on social media, @hughesinsuranceni.

For more information on the Mary Peters Trust, visit marypeterstrust.org