Belfast Telegraph

Legends join Dame Mary and Rory in fund-raising drive for young talent

By Jim Gracey

Young sporting talent in Northern Ireland is set to benefit yet again from a unique bond forged across the generations between past and present greats, Dame Mary Peters and Rory McIlroy.

Sporting personalities including Daley Thompson, Stephen Ferris, Jeremy McWilliams, Oisin McConville and Paddy Wallace, along with Northern Ireland football manager Michael O'Neill and sports presenter Colin Murray, are set to team up in support of leading charitable organisations Sport Changes Life, backed by Rory, and the Mary Peters Trust.

Hosted by James Nesbitt and supported by The Rory Foundation, the Sporting Legends Lunch will take place at the new-look Waterfront Hall on Friday, December 16 and aims to celebrate and support the important work that these organisations carry out in helping young people realise their full potential through sport.

Sport Changes Life aims to raise the aspirations of young people through sporting excellence, vocational and academic achievement and sport personal development. The Mary Peters Trust helps young athletes, whatever their sport or social background, to realise their maximum potential by assisting in both a financial and advisory capacity.

Dame Mary's Trust and Rory's Foundation launched a joint iniative last month to provide immiediate privately funded health care for injured young athletes.

Now they are combining again to raise more funds from their Sporting Legends Lunch.

Dame Mary said: "I discovered my talent for athletics at the age of 16 with the encouragement of my school principal.

"The power of sport is something that I feel very strongly about as not only does it give good health, enjoyment, friendship and travel too, but also a great sense of achievement when you reach those high standards.

"We give funding to young aspiring athletes from a variety of sports, to help them follow their dreams because travel for sport can be expensive, and I'm looking forward to seeing some of those that we have supported at this great event."

Gareth Maguire, Co-Founder of Sport Changes Life, added: "Both Sport Changes Life and the Mary Peters Trust recognise the tremendous positive impact that sport can have on a young person's life.

"We are delighted by the strong relationships formed between young people across Northern Ireland and our Sport Changes Life Victory Scholars as well as the lifelong friendships and team bonds which have endured outside of sport for the young people participating in our programmes."

√To book tickets, visit or contact Erin Miley on 028 9521 0004.

Belfast Telegraph

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