The awards keep coming for teen cricket sensation, Methodist College student Amy Hunter.
Back in October, on the day of her 16th birthday, Amy struck an unbeaten 121 for the Ireland women’s team in Harare, Zimbabwe, becoming the youngest player, male or female, to score a one-day international century.
It led to recognition from the Northern Cricket Union governing body who presented Amy with a framed montage and the scorecard of her world record-breaking innings.
The Irish Times selected her as its Sportswoman of the Month and now Amy has been awarded a £500 sports bursary by the Hughes Insurance company.
The monthly bursary programme sees the insurance broker support young athletes from across Northern Ireland, all selected by the Mary Peters Trust, and all at various stages of their sporting journeys.
Trust founder, Munich 1972 Olympic pentathlon gold medal winner Lady Mary Peters, said: “I’m delighted that my Trust’s partnership with Hughes Insurance can support talented athletes like Amy.
“Her recent triumph in Zimbabwe was spectacular and it put Northern Ireland’s young talent on the map.
“Amy is a wonderful ambassador and thoroughly deserving of this bursary. Our bursary programme is an important opportunity for young athletes at various stages of their journeys in various sports and I thank Hughes Insurance for supporting my Trust to acknowledge up-and-coming sporting stars.”
Amy, who has been playing cricket since she was eight, says the game appeals to her competitive nature and she most enjoys the team aspect. Having debuted for the Irish senior women’s team in May this year, and scored her first international century in October, Amy has made a flying start in securing her future as an elite batter.
Commenting on the award, Instonians player Amy said: “To be recognised by Lady Mary Peters is really motivating. I’ve had an excellent year already having made the Irish senior women’s squad and scoring my first international century, so hearing I’d been awarded the bursary was a nice icing on the cake.
“I’m really thankful to Hughes Insurance for funding the bursary as it will allow me to travel to training more during the winter months which is vital to my progression.
“The Irish team train two or three times a week during the winter, along with two gym sessions, and this means quite a bit of travelling to Dublin at the weekends.
“I want to put the work in as my ambitions for the rest of 2021 include a successful World Cup qualifying campaign. Beyond 2021, I hope to cement my place in the Ireland women’s cricket team, by continuing to put in valuable performances.”
The Mary Peters Trust is the only province-wide organisation to provide support to young athletes from all recognised sports, and bursary programmes such as its current partnership with Hughes Insurance contribute significantly to its ongoing work.
Harriet McCandless, Senior Marketing Manager at Hughes Insurance, said: “Our partnership with Mary Peters Trust is really important to us. In some instances, we’re giving young athletes the funding they need to upgrade their equipment and in others we’re contributing to the travel costs associated with competing so they have the chance to move up the ranks.
“We look forward to supporting more athletes like Amy.”