SEAN'S OLYMPIC DREAM

DROMORE cyclist Sean Downey looks set to follow in the footsteps of his father and compete at the Olympics.

Seamus Downey competed at the LA Games in 1984, as well as the Commenwealth Games in Brisbane in 1982 and 1986 in Edinburgh.

Now Sean, who has just been named as the Northern Ireland regional winner of the OCS Young Sports Persons Award for 2007, has visions of doing likewise.

He said, "I have always enjoyed cycling and I hope to follow in the footsteps of my father who competed for Ireland in the Olympics and Northern Ireland at the Commonwealth Games.

"Along with my dad and other family members I am a member of Banbridge Cycling Club where I have received incredible support from my fellow cyclists - this has helped motivate me, and along with the advice and guidance received from other team members I have already reached a number of key milestone races within the race calendar."

The 17-year-old, an apprentice plumber at the South Eastern Regional College's Lisburn Campus has picked up a string of awards during his career including the Junior Irish Cyclo Cross Champion, Irish Trial Champion, Irish Mountain Biking Champion and the Ulster Road Race Champion.

He has also won the Top Junior in the Tour of the North and the Armagh to Downpatrick race for seniors.

"My career highlight to date was coming 11th in the European Championships in Germany last year, but I hope to build on that by taking part in this years Championships in Poland in September with the ultimate aim of getting to the Olympics and turning professional," Sean added.

celebrates

The OCS Young Person Awards celebrates the sporting achievements of young athletes from across the UK. Sean travelled to London to collect his Award at a celebratory event alongside eight other regional winners from across the UK.