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Mary Peters Trust aims to find our next Rory McIlroy or Carl Frampton

By Frank Brownlow

The Mary Peters Trust has awarded £33,000 to over 80 local rising stars to help them fulfil their dreams of reaching the top just like previous recipients such as Rory McIlroy and Carl Frampton.

The charity's Podium Programme - supported by George Best Belfast City Airport - provided the opportunity to learn from experts on how to enhance careers with masterclasses in health, communicating with the media, managing online presence, nutrition, strength and conditioning.

The seminars were delivered by Paralympic gold medallist, Michael McKillop; Munster Rugby Strength and Conditioning Coach Feargal O'Callaghan; renowned nutritionist for the Institute of Sport Laura Mahoney; Belfast City Airport Digital Communications Manager Carly Rodgers; and UTV Sport's Ruth Gorman.

Trust president Dame Mary Peters said: "The first round of our 2015 Podium Programme, with support from Belfast City Airport, has seen our biggest single financial handout in the Trust's 40 year history.

"We're exceptionally proud of the work we do through the Mary Peters Trust and since our inception we've financially supported more than 5,000 young athletes enabling them to compete on a national and international level.

"Competing professionally can be extremely costly and for many, without financial support, this would not be possible.

"I am delighted that through the Trust we can present financial awards based on skill, commitment and achievements of the young athlete, allowing them to reach their true potential."

The Mary Peters Trust Podium Programme was financed by the airport's Community Fund - a unique initiative which has invested more than £180,000 into a number of local projects which aim to strengthen community relations, sport, social development, environmental responsibility and education.

Dame Mary added: "Whilst receiving financial funding is fantastic for the athletes, we wanted to further enhance our support and have done so through the guest seminars where they will hear from experts and consider how their training habits, nutrition and even social media behaviour should be managed.

"We would like to thank Belfast City Airport for their support and hope the athletes are inspired by what they've learned."

For more info on how to apply to the Belfast City Airport Community Fund, contact:

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