The Mayor of Coleraine, Councillor David Harding invited a number of local sporting stars to Council’s Civic Headquarters, Cloonavin on the evening of Thursday 14th November in recognition of their sporting achievements.
The Mayor started proceedings by thanking guests for attending and reminding everyone of the high level of sporting achievements during the past twelve months. Coleraine Cricket Club secured the North-West Premier League for the very first time this year and Coleraine Bowling Club defeated close rivals Ballymoney, winning the Irish Senior Cup, and the All-Ireland title for the second time in 92 years.
Representatives from Coleraine Cricket Club, who were recently crowned Long’s Supervalu Premier League Champions 2013, were commended for winning the league over nearest challengers, Brigade.
“As an avid cricket fan, I recognise that this was a thrilling climax to the season, as Coleraine played Brigade back to back on the 24th and 25th August. Winning by 70 runs at Brigade and clinching the title in front of a home crowd was a great achievement” stated the Mayor.
He continued: “Within the sport of bowling, Coleraine has a great history and much of it I was unaware of until I read about the club’s achievements.
“Coleraine Bowling Club travelled to Belmont Park in Belfast to meet neighbours and fierce competition rivals Ballymoney in the Irish Senior Cup, winning the competition by 13 shots. Boasting bowlers amongst the best in the world, captain Jordan Dallas enjoyed lifting the Irish Senior Cup after a 92-year wait for the club; this heralds another successful chapter for Coleraine Bowling Club who have a great future ahead of them.
“I am delighted to welcome Eoghan Rua Camogs, who are now the Derry Senior Champions beating Slaughtneil by seven points to lift the title in September. And, not to be outdone, the club has added the Ulster title to their growing list of successes, including two All-Ireland Intermediate titles and now look towards All-Ireland action at Senior Level and a chance for more glory.
“Few clubs in the Borough of Coleraine can boast as much success as Eoghan Rua and as the club celebrate yet another fantastic season, there can be no doubt that further success awaits for them, as we in Coleraine are extremely proud of all our team achievers.”
Individual awards were presented. One of these went to Marty Nutt, winner of the Ducati Challenge Championship held at the home of motorsport, Silverstone. The Mayor welcomed Marty to Cloonavin and said how in awe he is of his dedication to his sport. “Marty is a seasoned professional motorcycle racer who, after a 15 year wait to be crowned British Champion showed his class with a winning margin of 27 points over his nearest challenger.
He continued: “Impressive, but even more so when one considers Marty’s fight back from serious injury including a broken back and serious neck injury. I look forward watching your career develop. My one experience sitting pillion around the North West 200 course is a memory not to be forgotten!”
Councillor Harding went on to state that the Borough has a particular pride in former World Champion Surf Kayaking Champion Andy McClelland. It was a summer scheme, run by Council’s Sports Development team, which introduced Andy to the sport and his success has been immense ever since.
“There is no doubt that Andy’s status within the sport was a major factor in hosting the Northern Ireland and British Open Waveski and Surf Kayaking Championship earlier this year. He continued by saying, “Andy is currently in the top ten in the world and will no doubt be once again World Champion.
“And finally my praise goes to Billy Johnston, who won gold at this year’s World Police and Fire Games in Fly Fishing!”
Billy has been fly fishing for nearly forty years and was especially pleased at winning his gold medal and representing Northern Ireland in the World Police and Fire Games competition.
Each guest was presented with a small gift from Council, in the form of a sports bag provided with special funding through the Coleraine Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PSCP), from the Department of Justice’s Criminal Confiscation Scheme. This funding also enabled the PCSP to purchase Coleraine’s very own Cage Sport equipment to encourage young people across the Borough to participate in healthy sports diversionary activities. Guests were also presented with their very own tee-shirt, with the new sporting logo representing Coleraine stating, ‘C Our Sport’.
The Mayor of Coleraine finished off by thanking everyone for attending the event: “A special thank you to all those in the Borough who continue to represent the best in sporting competitions. We continue to compete at the highest of levels and I will watch with anticipation as the Borough of Coleraine continues to compete at the highest levels.”