Belfast Telegraph

Mary's £2,000 boost from Blue can 'Make it Happen'

By Robert Jones

As funding cuts bite across the sporting spectrum, financial aid for young athletes has become all the more precious.

Gold medal Dame Mary Peters has been assisting talented young hopefuls to achieve their dreams throughout the 43 years since her Olympic pentathlon triumph in Munich.

And now, in addition to her regular Mary Peters Trust cash awards, a special £2,000 incentive has been created for each of two young chosen competitors on the brink of a big breakthrough in their sports.

Mary's 'Make It Happen' awards, supported by specialist insurance broker Bluefin Sport, will help provide specialist training and/or coaching to take help take the recipients to the next level. Last year's winners, track cyclist Shenna McKiverigan, from Banbridge, and table tennis player Ashley Robinson, from Fivemiletown, made the progress expected of them with the aid of the Bluefin and Trust support.

Shenna, who has represented Team SKY at U16 level, won triple gold at the All Ireland National Championships in the 500m, Scratch Race and Time Trial and silver in the Team Pursuit.

Ashley moved to Sweden to compete at a higher level, training every day and working with top coaches. He also competed in the World Championships in China.

Bluefin's Alyn Spratt said: "We are thrilled to continue our support of these awards and to be associated with the fantastic work of the Mary Peters Trust. It's inspiring to see the impact that this can have in helping athletes achieve their sporting goals and ambitions."

Eilish Rutherford, Chair of the Mary Peters Trust, added: "This support from Bluefin Sport is invaluable to our charity. These large awards are designed to give the selected athletes a boost in their sporting careers by funding the opportunity to target a skill or technique to help give them a competitive edge. It is even more important in light of the budgets that are continually being cut in all aspects of sport at present."

Nomination forms for the 2015 Bluefin Sport 'Make It Happen' Awards are available from all sporting governing bodies or the Mary Peters Trust (028 9038 3830). Applications will close on Friday, November 13 and the winners will be announced in December.

Belfast Telegraph


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