Promising athletes from the area have enjoyed the benefits of support from The Mary Peters Trust as part of a £33,000 commitment to grassroots sport.
Dame Peters - a former Portadown College student and winner of pentathlon gold at the 1972 Olympic Games - has, via her Trust, backed over 80 competitors in pursuit of professional ambitions.
Craigavon archer Aimee Convery and Sam McKeown from Portadown Boat Club recently received backing thanks to the Trust’s bi-annual Podium Programme, which is supported by George Best Belfast City Airport.
The Podium Programme also provided seminars headed by industry experts on health, media, nutrition and strength and conditioning.
“The first round of our 2015 Podium Programme has seen our biggest single financial handout in the Trust’s 40-year history,” said Dame Peters. “We’re exceptionally proud of the work we do and since our inception we’ve financially supported more than 5,000 young athletes enabling them to compete on a national, European and international level representing Northern Ireland.
“Competing professionally can be extremely costly for both the athlete and their guardian 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 the skill, commitment and achievements of the young athlete, allowing them to reach their true potential.”
The Podium Programme was made possible by the airport’s Community Fund – a unique CR 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.