Athletes off to Sports Personality Awards

At the presentation to the individual winners from the Junior Sports Awards: from left Chair of Leisure and Community Services Committee, Councillor Mark Baxter, winner Mark Downey, Lord Mayor of Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon, Councillor Darryn Causby, winner Jake Walsh, winner Caolan McConville and Strategic Director (People), Mike Reardon. Additional winners Olivia Mehaffey, Jonathan Lyness and Jesse-Jane McParland were unavailable for the photo.
At the presentation to the individual winners from the Junior Sports Awards: from left Chair of Leisure and Community Services Committee, Councillor Mark Baxter, winner Mark Downey, Lord Mayor of Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon, Councillor Darryn Causby, winner Jake Walsh, winner Caolan McConville and Strategic Director (People), Mike Reardon. Additional winners Olivia Mehaffey, Jonathan Lyness and Jesse-Jane McParland were unavailable for the photo.
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The BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards ceremony will certainly be a night to remember for six local junior athletes who have received tickets to the event courtesy of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council.

Mark Downey, Olivia Mehaffey, Jake Walsh, Jesse-Jane McParland, Caolan McConville and Jonathan Lyness, will attend the prestigious and high profile awards ceremony in the SSE Arena, Belfast on 20th December.

The six lucky junior sport stars will soak up the atmosphere as their own sporting heroes are recognised for their achievements.

The young athletes have themselves recently been acknowledged for their own sporting successes as individual category winners at the Council’s inaugural Junior Sports Awards which was organised in partnership with Armagh Sports Forum, Banbridge District Sports Association and Craigavon Sports Advisory Council.

This year’s BBC Sports Personality of the Year event is taking place in Northern Ireland for the first time.

The Chair, Councillor Mark Baxter, Vice-Chair, Councillor Declan McAlinden and members of the Leisure and Community Services Committee unanimously agreed that it was a fitting accolade for the individual winners in the first year of the Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council Junior Sport Awards receive tickets to the event presented by the Lord Mayor.

“Mark, Olivia, Jake, Jesse-Jane, Coalan and Jonathan are a credit to the Borough and an inspiration to us all.

“Their dedication, commitment and hard work have enabled them to excel in their sport of choice.

“I am delighted to be able to present them with tickets to this prestigious event.

“It promises to be a great evening of entertainment celebrating the biggest sporting accomplishments and I hope it will inspire and encourage these young rising stars to go on to greater success,” said Lord Mayor of Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon, Councillor Darryn Causby.

The six young athletes were winners in the following categories: Sports Person with a Disability: Joint winners from Ski Ability - Caolan McConville and Jonathan Lyness.

Junior Male of the Year: Ballyvally Archer Jake Walsh who finished 2nd in the Europa Cup.

Junior Female of the Year: World Kickboxing Champion Jesse-Jane McParland.

Youth Male of the Year: European Silver medallist from Banbridge Cycling Club – Mark Downey.

Youth Female of the Year: Irish, Scottish and Welsh Open Champion and Youth Olympic Games competitor – Tandragee Golf Club’s Olivia Mehaffey.