Mid & East Antrim’s sports stars celebrated at awards

Friday 15 March 2024

The best in local sport was celebrated at the annual Mid and East Antrim Sports Awards last night.

Group shot of winners and sponsors plus Lady Mary Elizabeth Peters, LG, CH, DBE

Shortlisted athletes, teams, coaches and others from across the Borough’s sporting community gathered at The Galgorm Resort & Spa, Ballymena, to contend the awards across eight categories.

Organised by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, the annual event recognises outstanding achievements and service in sport locally and shines a light on MEA’S committed sports people and volunteers who dedicate themselves day and daily to being the best they can be. In attendance was Lady Mary Elizabeth Peters, LG, CH, DBE.

Hosted by TV presenter Claire McCollum, the awards were sponsored by Larne Credit Union, RYOBI, Pollock Lifts, Wilsons of Rathkenny, Ballylumford Sports and Social Club, McCadden, Rainbow Signs and Stirling Trophies.

The full list of winners is as follows:

  • Junior Sportsperson of the Year – Parker Bonnes (Golf)
  • School Sporting Performance – Cody Lau (Swimming)
  • Sportsperson/Team with a Disability – Claire Taggart (Boccia)
  • Manager/Coach of the Year – Iain Mahood (Boxing)
  • Community Participation – Larne Junior Parkrun (Running)
  • Team of the Year – Larne Football Club (Football)
  • Services to Sport – Arthur James (Rugby)
  • Sportsperson of the Year – Cody Brady (Clay Pigeon Shooting)

Bursaries were awarded to Ryan Fowles (Darts) and Lauren Roy (Athletics). This is now the fifth year of sponsorship from Balon Bespoke Sport and Leisurewear. Each worthy recipient receives £250 worth of leisurewear.

Addressing guests at the ceremony, Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Alderman Gerardine Mulvenna, commended the Borough’s players, athletes, coaches, managers, volunteers and administrators for their hard work, dedication and determination.

She said: “Our Borough has a wealth of sporting talent and these awards are an excellent way to see their efforts recognised.

“Local heroes come in all shapes and sizes, but they all have one thing in common - the outstanding contribution they make within their community. Sport plays an important role in our community every day and brings benefits that reach far beyond physical wellbeing and fitness. It provides avenues for young people to learn and develop life skills through team and individual sports; it brings communities together with shared goals; it strengthens local networks which reinforce a sense of place; and it reaches all walks of life, from youth to old age.

“I send my warmest congratulations and well done to all nominees and winners and thank everyone who gives up their time week in and week out to provide all types of sport and physical activity programmes throughout MEA.”