Belfast Telegraph

In full: Northern Ireland Commonwealth Games squad for Gold Coast 2018

By Gareth Hanna

Northern Ireland have announced their 90-strong team of athletes across 13 sports for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

The Games are due to take place from April 4-15 in Australia's Gold Coast and the squad, which covers 13 sports, was announced on Wednesday morning at the Theatre at the Mill, Newtownabbey.

Among the traditionally successful boxing contingent are 2014 medal-winners Steven Donnelly, Michaela Walsh and Alanna Nihell.

The athletics team, after the deselection of boxer Conor Wallace, has been buoyed by the late inclusion of Amy Foster. Ciara Mageean, who missed the 2014 Games as injury hampered her qualification attempt, returns to chase for a medal in the 1500m race. Long distance runner Kerry O'Flaherty missed out on the squad. She finished 11th in the 3000 metres steeplechase in Glasgow in 2014.

Dromore's Mark Downey leads the cycling contingent. The multiple World Cup goal medal-winner is joined by six other riders, including national champions Eileen Burns and Marcus Christie.

Among the eight shooters due to represent NI is veteran David Calvert, who is preparing for his 11th Commonwealth Games. He has won four gold and four bronze medals in a career that dates back to 1978.

Three para-athletes are included. Wheelchair athlete Jack Agnew is joined by swimmer Barry McClements and triathlete David Kerr.

Every district council in NI is represented by at least four athletes and the cost of the team is £360,000, revealed Team NI's Chef de Mission Robert McVeigh.

Dame Mary Peters said she will be leading the cheers Down Under and explained just what the team can look forward to:

"I'm delighted to be here to congratulate the teams and individuals who are going to the Gold Coast. My first experience was the 1958 Commonwealth Games, in fact the Empire Games in Cardiff. When I go as number one supporter to the Gold Coast, it will be my 15th Commonwealth Games.

"I still remember very well staying in an RAF camp outside Cardiff and the girl I shared with is Bridget Robinson, a javelin thrower, and we are still in touch even though she lives in Texas. The friendships that you will make during these games will last you a lifetime. The night that Terry Milligan won a gold medal in Cardiff, the whole team was on the bus back to the village singing. I remember that with such affection.

"I hope that everybody who leaves these shores as our ambassadors, come back with great memories of a wonderful part of the world and good competition, whether it's a personal best or a medal in your pocket, to inspire the next generation of young people. Bon voyage and great success."

Here are the 88 athletes and the 25 coaches that make up this year's Team NI in full:

AQUATICS (9 athletes)

Calum Bain, James Brown, Curtis Coulter, Conor Ferguson, Jamie Graham, Danielle Hill, Barry McClements, Jordan Sloan, David Thompson

Coaches: Andy Reid, Paul Dennis

ATHLETICS (13 athletes)

Jack Agnew, Adam Kirk-Smith, Sommer Lecku, Ciara Mageean, Dempsey McGuigan, Adam McMullan, Emma Mitchell, Kate O'Connor, Paul Pollock, Leon Reid, Ben Reynolds, Kevin Seaward, Amy Foster *LATE SELECTION*

Coaches: Jackie Newton, Tom Reynolds, Laura Kerr

BADMINTON (3 athletes)

Ciaran Chambers, Sinead Chambers, Rachael Darrah

Coach: Andrew Stewart

BOXING (12 athletes)

Steven Donnelly, Brendan Irvine, Sean McComb, James McGivern, Stephen McMonagle, Carly McNaul, Alana Nihell, Kristina O'Hara, Damien Sullivan, Kurt Walker, Conor Wallace *DESELECTED*, Aidan Walsh, Michaela Walsh

Coaches: John Conlan, Peter Brady, Damian Kennedy

CYCLING (8 athletes)

Lydia Bowman, Eileen Burns, Marcus Christie, Mark Downey, Marc Potts, Robyn Stewart, Xeno Young, Cameron Orr

Coaches: Anthony Mitchell, Gary McKeegan

GYMNASTICS (2 athletes)

Ewan McAteer, Rhys McClenaghan

Coach: Luke Carson

LAWN BOWLS (10 athletes)

Sandra Bailie, Catherine Beattie, Gary Kelly, Andrew Kyle, Simon Martin, Sally McAuley, Donna McCloy, Ian McClure, Martin McHugh, Erin Smith

Coaches: Neil Booth, Barbara Cameron, Tommy Smith

NETBALL (12 athletes)

Kyla Bowman, Lisa Bowman, Niamh Cooper, Michaelle Drayne, Gemma Lawlor, Noleen Lennon, Michelle Magee, Lisa McCaffrey, Oonagh McCullough, Caroline O'Hanlon, Fionnuala Toner, Neamh Woods

Coaches: Elaine Rice, Karen Rollo, Clar Rois McGuinness

SHOOTING (8 athletes)

Jack Alexander, Kirsty Barr, David Calvert, Rory Hamilton, David Henning, Stuart Hill, Gareth McAuley, Alexandra Skeggs

Coaches: Clifford Barr, Gary Alexander

TABLE TENNIS (4 athletes)

Owen Cathcart, Paul McCreery, Ashley Robinson, Zak Wilson

Coach: John Murphy

TRIATHLON (3 athletes)

James Edgar, David Kerr, Russell White

Coaches: Stephen Delaney, Andrea Nash

WEIGHTLIFTING (5 athletes)

Stephen Forbes, Emma McQuaid, Cameron Montgomery, Rebekah Thompson, Karl McClean

Coach: Timmy Graham

WRESTLING (1 athlete)

Sarah McDaid

Coach: Barry Pollin

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