Laura making up for lost time with Trust backing
The current 'Lady of the Lake' of Triathlon, Laura Wylie, from Dunadry is the first 2017 recipient of the Rainbow Communications Sports Award, in partnership with the Mary Peters Trust.
The 25-year-old is finding success despite only taking up Triathlons in recent years, having not competed in sports since she was 16, and the award will further assist her training costs.
"I took part in competitive swimming until I was 16 but it wasn't until I had graduated from university when I unwittingly signed up for a 100km cycle and I've been hooked ever since!
"Around this time I also started swimming again, and being in the water made me realise how much there was to achieve in triathlon. Under the guidance of my swim coach I have significantly improved my swimming capacity which has given me the strength to attack races from the outset," Laura said.
"I had to cut my last triathlon season short due to injury so my main focus has been on improving my strength for next season. However, I've been able to take part in some open water swimming events and last year was named 'Lady of the Lake' in a 2.8km race in Camlough before becoming Ulster Champion in the 5km event.
"I would like to thank Rainbow Communications and the Mary Peters Trust for selecting me for this award as the funding has helped with my warm weather training which I know Dame Mary believes is important."
Stuart Carson from Rainbow Communications, Northern Ireland's largest independent business telecoms company, said: "Laura has shown that despite having not taken part in sports for a number of years, hard work and dedication can go a long way. I'd like to wish Laura all the best in her continued success."
Dame Mary Peters added: "I am so delighted to see Laura enjoying her sport, and the promotion of females participating in sport is something I feel should be encouraged. As Laura mentioned I was given a Winston Churchill grant for warm weather training as part of the lead up to my 1972 Olympic gold medal at Munich and it definitely contributed to my success. Laura is a very dedicated athlete I hope more follow her lead."
To find about how you can apply for the award, visit www.marypeterstrust.org.