LIVE: Causeway Coast and Glens Sports awards

News and reaction from all the award winners as they are announced...

LIVE: Causeway Coast and Glens Sports awards
Jason Craig


Jason Craig


Friday 1 November 2019 18:46

And that folks is the end of the Chronicle's live coverage from the 2019 Causeway Coast and Glens Sports Awards.

Do not forget to pick up a copy of Tuesday's paper for full coverage of tonight's event.


The fourteenth and final award will see a fourth person inducted into the Causeway Coast and Glens Sports Awards Hall of Fame. Any guesses who we are talking about from the following information.

'One of Ireland’s best known sportsmen, who has many fans within Ulster and Ireland with his wing and centre displays and dedicated approach to the game of rugby.

'While at Coleraine Academical Institution he played in the Ulster Schools' Cup before joining Ballymena Rugby Cub. This was the start of his glittering professional career in 2005 wherehe made his Ulster debut and he was selected to play for Ireland in the same year on the wing.

'In the 229 appearances made for Ulster he scored 78 tries. For Ireland he made 70 appearances and scored 17 tries and won one Six Nations Championship title in 2014.

'He played in two Rugby World Cups in 2007 and 2011, but injury kept him out of the 2015 campaign. In 2006 he was awarded Ulster Rugby Player of the Year and Irish Writers' Player of the Year (2014).

'He has been a great ambassador for Ulster and Irish Rugby, having done much to promote our work in the community and to inspire future generations of rugby players north and south but sadly due to injury he retired from rugby in 2015'.

The 2019 Hall of Fame inductee is Andrew Trimble.

"I am very proud of where I come from and I'm very proud of Coleraine," says Trimble.

"It [being a sports man] is tough," he adds. "There are the injuries, there is non-selection - a profesional sports career is a real rollercoaster.

"Seeing the footage tonight reminds me of the amazing experiences I had and the amazing people I met.

"The highlight was Chicago 2016 when we beat the All Blacks. It's nice to be part of something historical, to share that with amazing people during what was an amazing week."


The penultimate award is the Chairmen's Award. The winner has:
1) Represented Ireland at the Road World Championships in Harrogate;
2) Is the current Irish Junior Time Trial Champion;
3) Finished second in the Junior Tour of Irelandl;
4) And has secured a contract with Ribble Pro Racing for 2020.

The 2019 Chairmen’s Award goes to Ballycastle cyclist, Kevin McCambridge.


The next award is designed to commend a person with an outstanding achievement at international level and it's a toss up between Ballymoney bowler Gary Kelly and Coleraine rowing sensation, Hannah Scott.

Gary – who has moved Down Under where he won the World Indoor Cup Singles – is also a winner of the Irish Indoor Bowls Singles and Pairs titles.

Hannah, meanwhile, has been selected for her exploits on the water. A member of the Under 23 Great Britain Women’s National Squad, she is a silver medal winner at the Under 23 World Championships with Great Britain.

Your International Sports Person of the Year 2019 is Gary Kelly. He cannot be here tonight, unfortunately, so the award is collected on his behalf.


Now its the turn of Sports Man of the Year and once again it's anyone's guess where this accolade is headed tonight.

First in the running is Ballymoney's Gary Dunlop – the son of the late Joey Dunlop. He has been shortlisted by virtue of the fact he won the Irish 125cc Moto3 Championship.

The sport of bowls is being well represented this evening. This time it's the turn of Gary McCloy – the player of series at the British Isles Indoors competition and the NIPBA Singles Champion for the second year in a row.

The winner is Callum Brown who tells the audience he is already packing his bags as he prepares to head back to Australia where he is currently contracted to play Aussie Rules with Sydney Club Great Western Giants.


We know turn our attention to Sports Woman and Sports Man of the Year. Ladies first...

Ballymoney is represented by Ireland Hockey international and Ballymoney Hockey Club coach, Katie Mullan.

Coleraine rower Katie Shirlow, is Irish Champion in the Women’s Double Skulls and Senior Eights and pulled on the green shirt in the European Under 23 Championships.

Annette Wilson – our 2019 Coach of the Year - is in line for a second award this evening, this time for helping Ulster win the Masters Interprovincials while at the Home Nations she collected the Player of the Tournament gong.

Moyle runner Gemma McDonald completes the quartet. In the 37 races she started Gemma won 28 of these. Highlights include coming first in the Female Waterside Half Marathon and first in the Over 35 Women Northern Ireland Masters, and first in the Northern Ireland and Ulster Masters Cross Country meeting.

As she walks up to the front of a packed room to receive her award, Katie Shirlow receives a huge round of applause.

"This award tops it all - I'm really shocked," says Katie.

"It's tough going and a lot of stuff has to be sacrified but it's worth it."


The final group award to be handed out is the Senior Sports Team of the Year. In the running for the title is Ballymoney Outdoor Bowling Team, the Irish Outdoor Bowls Triples and Fours League champions. They are going up against:

Coleraine duo Trevor and Alastair Steele – the Irish Indoor Over 55s National Pairs champions.

Limavady Wolfhounds' Division 3, Derry Junior Championship and Neil Carson Cup winning Men's Senior Team.

Antrim and Ulster Senior Hurling Championship winners, Rurari Og Cushendall.

You would have to be a betting man to call this one...

An incredibly difficult job for judges but they have decided that Ballymoney's Outdoor Bowling Team is the 2019 Senior Sports Team of the Year.



Up next is the Merit Award and the four nominees are as follows.

Hugh Boyle runs for Springwell Runnning Club and is a winner of the 65 age category in the Belfast Half marathon, NI and Ulster championships & the Dublin half marathon.

Next up is Coleraine Hockey Club's Under 15 ladies' team – the Ulster Hockey Performance League champions and the current Ulster Hockey Indoor title holders

Limavady swimmer Eoin Mullan is ranked fifth in Ireland at at the Mary Peters Open Championships, won gold in the 200 Freestyle and silver in the 100 Freestyle.

Last up is Ballycastle Tennis Club's Under 14 Girls' team. They won the Belfast and District Under 14 Girls' Division One League title and the Belfast and District Under 14 Girls' Division Two Autumn League.

Compere Sarah Travers announces that Hugh Boyle is the winner.


Where is the time going? We are now at award number seven – Coach of the Year.

Adrian Darragh has managed and coached Ballymoney United Youth Academy 2002 for eight years and was part of the treble-winning side.

Geoff Bones has a long association with Bann Rowing Club. In the past year alone he coached the Junior 8s to the Irish title, Katie Shirlow to two Irish Senior titles and the Junior 4s to a silver medal at the Irish Championships.

Annette Wilson is involved with the junior and senior squads at Limavady Hockey Club , helping them to secure the Ulster 7 Junior League title for the second year running and secure Senior 2 status respectively.

Last but not least Ballycastle man Sean Maloney has been shortlisted for his contributions to tennis in the Moyle area. He has mentored over 150 children as part of the tennis programme and been credited with helping players win silverware in the Belfast and District League.

A great season has just got even better for Annette Wilson as she is announced as the 2019 Coach of the Year.

"I love hockey and I love teaching kids. I just want to give something back," says Annette.

"Being allowed to play and being allowed to coach is great."


The Services to Sport award is designed to recognise the dedication and effort of an individual. The nominees are as follows.

David Cunningham was one of the founding members of Riada Soccer School, which is now known as Ballymoney United Youth Academy. He has been a part of it for 20 years, with roles including organising facilities for training and games to arranging buses for home and away fixtures.

Stanleigh Murray is well-known for his involvement with the North West 200 road races in his capacity as Clerk of the Course. He has been instrumental in implementing safety improvements around the course and adhering to the sport's ever-changing rules and regulations.

Long-standing Roe Valley Archery Club member John O’Neill has coached hundreds of adults and children, with many of these winning at national and international level. He is also the training Officer for the Northern Ireland Field Archery Association.

Finally, Dan McKernan – described as the 'unsung hero of Ballycastle Tennis Club' – is a 78-year-old with a love for sport. For years he has organised training sessions and events for Ballycastle Tennis Club at the town's tennis complex.

Four worthy winners but there can only be one and the award goes to David Cunningham.


Award number five is Sports Administrator of the Year. It's a thankless job but one crucial to the smooth operation of clubs the length and breadth of the borough.

John Hunter (Ballymoney) is described as a passionate supporter of rugby and Ballymoney Rugby Club with whom he has held down various positions. Over the last three years he has introduced the club development programme.

Peter Cuckoo is known for his involvement with Coleraine Judo Club. Chair of the NI Judo Federation, he helped the club achieve Clubmark status in 2016. He does everything from arranging competition entries to ordering kit and collating memberships.

David Craig has been praised for the way in which he administrates tennis in the Limavady area. He has held the post of Chairman of the North West Branch of the Ulster Branch of Tennis Ireland and spearheaded the initiative to set up the new North West of Ireland Tennis League in 2008.

Finally, Seamus Bailey - one of the founder Members of Naomh Padraig GAC – has promoted juvenile hurling in the Cushendun, Carey, Armoy and Cloughmills areas. He has also held senior positions, including Chairman and Secretary.

It's game, set and match for David Craig (first on the left of this group shot) as he wins the Sports Administrator of the Year title.


Next up is Sports Person with a Disability and there are some truly inspirational stories to tell here.

First up is footballer Gareth Clyde (Ballymoney). Just months after losing an arm following work-related accident Gareth returned to play for Ballymoney United reserves in the Coleraine and District Morning League.

Coleraine judo enthusiast Michael McMillan was diagnosed with Chrones Disease at the age of 18. After undergoing multiple operations he has gone on to win medals at Northern Ireland, Ireland and UK level.

Limavady is not represented meaning the final nominee is Paul McLister (Ballycastle). An Irish boccia champion and part of the National Performance Centre programme, he is also involved with the Ulster Barbarians' rugby team.

The winner is Michael McMillan. His message to others with health troubles: "Fight on through because there is always light at the end of the tunnel."

We are back underway here at the Lodge Hotel in Coleraine for the remainder of the 2019 Causeway Coast and Glens Sports Awards.

That's the first part of the Causeway Coast and Glens Sports Awards taken care of.

After tonight's meal a further eleven awards are set to be handed out.

Join us again from 9.30pm when the International Sports Person will be crowned and a fourth person will be inducted into the Hall of Fame.


The final youth award to be presented tonight is the Junior Sports Team of the Year.

This is going to be a tough choice as all of the finalists have achieved success at the highest level in their respective sports.

Ballymoney's regional winners is Dalriada's senior girls' volleyball team – the Northern Ireland and Ireland Senior Schools' champions.

Bann Rowing Club's woman’s junior 8 are representing Coleraine after being crowned Irish Junior 8 champions – the first time in the Club’s history that this has been achieved.

Limavady isn't represented meaning the final nominee is Cross and Passion College's Under 16 hurling team. For the third consecutive year the squad retained the Ulster Schools' Forester's Cup.

It was close but Dalriada's girls have done it, adding the Junior Sports Team title to their already impressive haul of trophies won this season. The Dalriada girls tell Sarah Travers that their remarkable success is down to hard-work, hours of training and a good team spirit.


Award number two is the Junior Sports Man of the Year.

Oliver Swinney won both the Ballymoney and Coleraine heats for his achievements on the track at Ulster, Northern Ireland and Ireland level.

Limavady is represented by judo hotshot, Dylan Bond. Gold and silver medals have been followed by selection for the Northern Ireland team at last month's Commonwealth Judo Championships.

Kevin McCambridge is flying the flag for Ballycastle. The cycling prodigy has represented Ireland at the Road World Championships in Harrogate and is the reigning Irish Junior Time Trial champion.

The 2019 Junior Sports Man is Oliver Swinney.


The first award to be handed out is the Junior Sports Woman of the Year. Here are the four contenders.

Representing Ballymoney is 15-year-old Zoe Hennessey, for her volleyball success at Northern Ireland and UK level.

Molly Curry (Coleraine) has had an unforgettable year, the highlight being her selection for Ireland for the Junior World Championships in Tokyo over the summer.

Limavady-based bowler Shauna O’Neill has skipped for Ireland at the British Isles U-25 Championships and pulled on the green jersey at senior level at the same tournament.

Finally, Moyle's regional winner Maeve Kelly is one of camogie's most promising talents. She recently collected her second Ulster Schools' All-Star Award in 2019

The 2019 Junior Sports Woman is Molly Curry.

In case you are wondering, #SportsAwardsCCG is hashtag being used this evening on social media channels, such as Instagram and Twitter.

It's now the turn of the mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Councillor Sean Bateson, to say a few words. "I'd like to wish everyone the very best of luck this evening," he says, before welcoming Sarah Travers to the stage.

Council's Director of Leisure Development, Richard Baker, gets proceedings underway and takes a moment to reflect on the Open Golf Championship that put the north coast on the world map over the summer. "The only country that did not see the event was North Korea," he said. Tonight's guests are starting to arriving en masse at the Lodge Hotel...

Before tonight's Sports Awards get underway, event host Sarah Travers took a moment to have a look at the Chronicle's 175th anniversary supplement. "It's an incredible milestone," she said.

Welcome to the Chronicle's live coverage of the 2019 Causeway Coast and Glens Sports Awards.

Tonight's event is arguably the highlight of the local sporting calendar. A total of 40 nominees are in attendance this evening, with Northern Ireland, Ulster, All Ireland, British, European and World champions in our midst.

Taking place in the Lodge Hotel, many of the borough's biggest sporting personalities have already arrived to reflect on a hugely successful 12 months of sporting achievement for the Borough.

To recap: 14 awards in total will be handed out this evening. Each of the four legacy councils - Coleraine, Ballymoney, Ballycastle and Limavady - have held their own mini Sports Awards events in the run up to this evening, with the winner of each section having the honour of representing their area. 

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