Adam McBurney wins award and aims to hit the heights
Adam McBurney has pledged to reach his full potential after being awarded a coveted Ulster Rugby Supporters Club Jack Kyle Bursary.
The 18-year-old, who hit the headlines earlier this month when his Ballymena home came under fire in a mystery gun attack, said: "I am pleased to be receiving this award, especially as it is from the Ulster Rugby Supporters Club.
"I am also honoured to be given a bursary that bears the name of the great Jack Kyle.
"I would like to thank the URSC committee who believed in me and while I am absolutely delighted to be getting it I also know that accepting such an award carries a responsibility, to work hard and to dedicate myself to being the best player that I can possibly be," he added.
The Bursary is awarded to an up and coming Ulster player and is named in honour of Jack Kyle, President of the URSC prior to his death late last year.
McBurney receives a cheque for £2,500.
URSC Chairman Jonathan Bill said: "Adam's dedication to achieve his aspiration to be a top-class professional rugby player, despite difficult personal circumstances, is inspirational.
"It was particularly pleasing to see Adam as an 18-year-old gain a starting position in the Ireland under 20 team - just reward for his efforts."
Ulster Rugby Age Grade Manager Michael Black added: "Having worked with Adam for a number of years I have first hand experience of his desire and drive to succeed. This is not only on the field, but reflected in his character off the field as well.
"Despite some difficult personal circumstances, Adam has never wavered in his dedication to be the best player he can be.
"He has had many challenges along the way, but his achievements are something both he and his family can be very proud of," he added.