Belfast Telegraph

Remarkable year of sporting success praised by minister

by Chris McCann

Sports Minister Nelson McCausland recently hosted a reception to celebrate the achievements of local sportspeople who excelled in 2010.

Speaking during the Stormont event, the minister said: “2010 was a remarkable year of sporting success for Northern Ireland and I welcome the opportunity to celebrate the outstanding achievements of those who have excelled in their chosen field and achieved victory on the national and international stage.

“There have been considerable successes in a wide range of sports including athletics, rowing, badminton and wrestling and the achievements demonstrate the progress Northern Ireland is making in delivering on the performance targets in my sports strategy, Sport Matters.

“Amongst our 2010 sporting highlights there is the success of our Commonwealth Games teams in Delhi, Graeme McDowell winning the US Open and Tony McCoy winning the Grand National and the title of BBC Sports personality of the year.

“Other achievements in 2010 include local bowlers winning in a number of categories in the World Indoor Bowling Championship, our young people winning 22 medals at the UK School Games and St Gall’s winning the GAA Senior All Ireland Gaelic Football Club Championship.”

In conclusion, the minister reiterated his commitment to increasing participation in sport through the implementation of the Northern Ireland Sports Strategy and realise “a culture of lifelong enjoyment and success in sport”.

“The Northern Ireland Executive through Sport Matters, is committed to supporting our sportsmen and sportswomen in achieving world class performances on the national and international stage,” Mr McCausland added.

“I believe that the sportsmen and women here tonight are Northern Ireland's ambassadors for their sport.

“What they have achieved will help enormously in improving Northern Ireland’s image at home and abroad and will hopefully inspire more of our young people to take up and excel in sport.”

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