Belfast Telegraph

Quality quartet all deserving of Sportsperson with Disability joy


On the ball: GB ace James MacSorley
On the ball: GB ace James MacSorley
Adam McKendry

By Adam McKendry

The Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards recognise the achievements of Northern Ireland’s sporting heroes at all levels and across all sports.

The Sportsperson with a Disability accolade will reflect on another great year for four exceptional stars who achieved big things in 2018 in their respective sports.

It was another fantastic year for Seaforde swimmer Bethany Firth, who cleaned up at the World Para-Swimming European Championships.

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The 22-year-old returned home from Dublin with an incredible four European titles as she continued to forge her reputation as one of the best para-swimmers in the world.

Another swimmer on the shortlist is Catherine Parke, who herself had an excellent 2018 in the pool.

Parke came away with two gold medals at the regional finals held in Dublin as part of the Ulster Special Olympics team, a very impressive haul indeed.

Also up for nomination is Team GB wheelchair basketball player James MacSorley, who won an improbable gold medal with the national side at the World Championships.

The 23-year-old made his GB debut in the tournament as they stunned the USA in the final to become world champions.

Massereene golfer Gareth McNeilly is also in the mix for the award after he was part of the European side that won the Phoenix Cup.

The Ryder Cup equivalent for disabled golfers, McNeilly helped the European team to victory over their US counterparts in Florida in October.

With so many great achievements among the nominees, it’ll be a tight race to see who comes out on top, with all four worthy of collecting the award.

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