| 12.6°C Belfast

Young NI athletes awarded more than £70k in Better Bursaries and Cash Awards

Close

(L-R) Ulster Tennis Player Reese McCann, Regional Business Manager at GLL Jonathan Michael, Ireland Basketball Player Darragh Ferguson and Hannah McGugan, Ulster & Irish Squash Player.

(L-R) Ulster Tennis Player Reese McCann, Regional Business Manager at GLL Jonathan Michael, Ireland Basketball Player Darragh Ferguson and Hannah McGugan, Ulster & Irish Squash Player.

Ireland Women’s Field Hockey International Shirley McCay, Olympic Boxer Aidan Walsh, Regional Business Manager at GLL Jonathan Michael and Róise Roberts, NI Athletics Runner.

Ireland Women’s Field Hockey International Shirley McCay, Olympic Boxer Aidan Walsh, Regional Business Manager at GLL Jonathan Michael and Róise Roberts, NI Athletics Runner.

Ulster Tennis Player Reese McCann, Ireland Basketball Player Darragh Ferguson, Regional Business Manager at GLL Jonathan Michael, Olympic Boxer Aidan Walsh and Hannah McGugan, Ulster & Irish Squash Player.

Ulster Tennis Player Reese McCann, Ireland Basketball Player Darragh Ferguson, Regional Business Manager at GLL Jonathan Michael, Olympic Boxer Aidan Walsh and Hannah McGugan, Ulster & Irish Squash Player.

/

(L-R) Ulster Tennis Player Reese McCann, Regional Business Manager at GLL Jonathan Michael, Ireland Basketball Player Darragh Ferguson and Hannah McGugan, Ulster & Irish Squash Player.

Some 125 gifted young athletes have been presented with sporting bursaries worth more than £70,000 by social enterprise GLL at an awards gala in Belfast City Hall.

Athletes including Belfast boxer and bronze Olympic medalist Aidan Walsh, Bangor Paralympian Eve Walsh Dann and Team GB Trap Shooter Kirsty Hegarty (nee Barr) were presented with financial grants and training memberships by Lady Mary Peters on Monday evening.

The GLL Sports Foundation (GSF) is the largest independent athlete support programme in the UK and awards gifted young athletes, many of whom rely on these bursaries alone to compete at national and international levels.

Local recipients this year include 125 individuals currently competing at Olympic, Paralympic, Special Olympic, World, European and Commonwealth level, 84% of whom receive no other central funding towards their sporting journey.

Awarded in partnership with the Mary Peters Trust, athletes supported by GSF this year received financial grants of up to £1,000 alongside training support and access to GLL facilities across the UK.

Of those recipients 61% are aged under 21 while 15% are aged under 16.

The GSF is delivered in Belfast by GLL, the social enterprise which runs the 15 ‘Better’ leisure centres across the city.

Daily Headlines & Evening Telegraph Newsletter

Receive today's headlines directly to your inbox every morning and evening, with our free daily newsletter.

This field is required

Close

Ireland Women’s Field Hockey International Shirley McCay, Olympic Boxer Aidan Walsh, Regional Business Manager at GLL Jonathan Michael and Róise Roberts, NI Athletics Runner.

Ireland Women’s Field Hockey International Shirley McCay, Olympic Boxer Aidan Walsh, Regional Business Manager at GLL Jonathan Michael and Róise Roberts, NI Athletics Runner.

Ireland Women’s Field Hockey International Shirley McCay, Olympic Boxer Aidan Walsh, Regional Business Manager at GLL Jonathan Michael and Róise Roberts, NI Athletics Runner.

Since launching in Belfast in 2015, GSF has provided over 773 awards worth over £450,000 to local sporting stars. Previous GSF supported athletes include Paralympian Michael McKillop, Irish Olympic Marathon Runner and winner of the 40th Belfast City Marathon 2022 Paul Pollock, and Irish Hockey International Shirley McCay.

Boxer and Olympic bronze medalist Aidan Walsh said: “As an Olympic Boxer from Belfast I am proud to be among this group of amazing young athletes honoured by the GLL Sports Foundation Awards 2022.

"Belfast is well known for producing athletes across many disciplines, and support like this is really important to make sure talented young people are given the chance to break through. Local kids that aren’t as supported financially find it hard paying memberships for local gyms, so when GLL step up to give them access it is fantastic.”

“This is something I’ve used to my benefit, and I take great pride in returning to use these facilities and celebrate the community I come from.

"Some of the best athletes in the world use GLL gyms in Belfast and across the UK as it is up there with the rest in terms of equipment and facilities. To have this on my doorstep is fantastic and I know it will support many more young athletes to put Belfast on the map.”

Close

Ulster Tennis Player Reese McCann, Ireland Basketball Player Darragh Ferguson, Regional Business Manager at GLL Jonathan Michael, Olympic Boxer Aidan Walsh and Hannah McGugan, Ulster & Irish Squash Player.

Ulster Tennis Player Reese McCann, Ireland Basketball Player Darragh Ferguson, Regional Business Manager at GLL Jonathan Michael, Olympic Boxer Aidan Walsh and Hannah McGugan, Ulster & Irish Squash Player.

Ulster Tennis Player Reese McCann, Ireland Basketball Player Darragh Ferguson, Regional Business Manager at GLL Jonathan Michael, Olympic Boxer Aidan Walsh and Hannah McGugan, Ulster & Irish Squash Player.

Regional Business Manager at GLL Jonathan Michael believes each and every one of the 125 athletes honoured in this year’s awards have shown an “unbelievable level of talent, commitment and sacrifice” as they compete at elite level.

"As a social enterprise, we are thrilled to support greater numbers of athletes in this way each year and in a growing number of sports than ever before,” he continued.

“The GLL Sports Foundation is going from strength to strength in line with the advancement of local sporting talent.

"It is our pleasure to present 125 awards to worthy recipients this week and I would like to thank our partners Belfast City Council and the Mary Peters Trust for supporting us to do so. We are thrilled to have been in a room of 125 incredible athletes this week and know they will each go on to achieve great success for their city.”


Top Videos



Privacy