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Financial lift helps rising star Rachel get her teenage kicks

By Jim Gracey

A 13-year-old student from Carrickfergus has 'kicked' her way to the coveted Rainbow Communications Sports Award in partnership with the Mary Peters Trust.

Rachel McCune, who attends Methodist College in Belfast, went to her very first Taekwondo class in The Amphitheatre with her sister at the age of nine, after receiving a flyer in school offering a free taster session.

She said: "I took up Taekwondo as it looked like an interesting sport and I also wanted to learn how to defend myself properly.

"I enjoy the sport because it keeps me fit and healthy and has enabled me to meet some wonderful people.

"Amongst my biggest achievements to date is winning the gold medal in the Spanish Open in Benalmadena and getting to the quarter-finals in the 2015 European Championships.

"I have also received confirmation of my selection on the international team to compete in Greece 2016.

"I am delighted to have received the Rainbow Communications Sports Award in partnership with the Mary Peters Trust and the funding enabled me to attend this year's European Championships."

Stuart Carson from Rainbow Communications, which is Northern Ireland's largest independent business telecoms company, said: "Every month we team up with the Mary Peters Trust to acknowledge some of our local up and coming sporting stars. Rachel is a shining star who should be very proud of herself."

Dame Mary Peters added: "I recently attended a Taekwondo competition and saw first-hand how hard they train and how professionally they approach their sport, so I commend Rachel for her hard work and dedication."

To find out how you can apply, visit

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