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Sky's the limit for our talented kids

By Graham Luney

Published 10/11/2015

Helping hand: At the Mary Peters Trust Podium Programme event, supported by George Best Belfast City Airport, is fencer Rosie McGonagle, Eilish Rutherford, Chairman of the Mary Peters Trust, tennis player Dylan Leeman and Stephen Patton, Human Resources Manager at George Best Belfast City Airport
Helping hand: At the Mary Peters Trust Podium Programme event, supported by George Best Belfast City Airport, is fencer Rosie McGonagle, Eilish Rutherford, Chairman of the Mary Peters Trust, tennis player Dylan Leeman and Stephen Patton, Human Resources Manager at George Best Belfast City Airport

Some of Northern Ireland's most promising athletes have received significant financial support from the Mary Peters Trust.

Sporting dreams can struggle to take off when finances are difficult to secure but a new initiative is offering our talented young people a better chance to fulfil their potential.

More than 30 sportsmen and women have benefited from an £18,000 cash boost from the Mary Peters Trust Podium Programme.

George Best Belfast City Airport are helping to give the programme a big lift off as our gifted youngsters aim for the stars.

The programme is funded by the airport's Community Fund, a unique initiative which has invested more than £200,000 into local projects aiming to strengthen community relations, sport, education, environmental responsibility and social development.

Eilish Rutherford, Chairman of the Mary Peters Trust, said: "It is a pleasure for the Mary Peters Trust to be able to support these up-and-coming athletes.

"For many athletes, competing professionally would not be an option for them without the financial aid they receive through the Trust. I am delighted that we can present financial awards to these young people based on their skills, commitment and achievements, helping them to reach their full sporting potential.

"Financial funding is crucial to the athletes, however we also want to further enhance the support and guidance we offer through the guest seminars at our Podium Programme."

Held bi-annually, the Podium Programme event included seminars in health, communicating with the media, managing online presence, nutrition and strength and conditioning.

Guests heard from Tom Crick, Director of Coaching and Athletic Development at Athletics NI, Jim Gracey, Group Sports Editor of the Belfast Telegraph, Stephen Patton, Human Resources Manager at George Best Belfast City Airport and Carly Rodgers, Digital Communications Manager at George Best Belfast City Airport.

Patton commented: "Through our Community Fund, we aim to benefit the lives of local people in Northern Ireland and we are delighted to be supporting the Mary Peters Trust Podium Programme.

"We recognise the positive impact sport has on young people and look forward to seeing all the incredible athletes we have met through the Trust reach their goals."

For more information on how your school, group or project can apply for funding from the Belfast City Airport Community Fund, please contact: communityfund@belfastcityairport.com

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