Sport Northern Ireland chief reflects on successful Games for Team NI

gold medal winners Paddy Barnes along with Stena Line's Dale Wilson
gold medal winners Paddy Barnes along with Stena Line's Dale Wilson

Sport Northern Ireland’s Chief Executive Antoinette McKeown has reflected on what was a successful Commonwealth Games for the Northern Ireland squad of 117 competitors.

It was an intensely competitive 10 days at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, but Team NI athletes stepped up to the mark, with the boxers brining home an exceptional haul of medals – nine in total.

More importantly, it was a gold rush of two Gold medals, a superb five Silver medals, and an impressive five Bronze medals.

With a total of 12 medals now secured for Team NI, it exceeds the 10 won in Delhi four years ago.

In addition to the nine boxing medals, Team NI secured two silvers in bowls and one bronze in judo.

Support for Team NI at the Games was exceptional and proved to be a real inspiration for the athletes when it mattered most, providing what was often an electric atmosphere in the competition venues.

Ms McKeown was one of the first to congratulate and recognised the teams’ achievements.

“The energy and enthusiasm of the Team NI athletes at these Games has been infectious,” she said.

“Their dedication and commitment to their sport is outstanding and each and every one of them should be so proud of what they have achieved.

“They are an inspiration to us all and in particular, the next generation of athletes in Northern Ireland.

“We have also made a bit of history this week with our female boxers being the first to take to the ring in Commonwealth Games history.

“Michaela (Walsh) had the unenviable pleasure of being involved in the first female boxing bout, something she handled effortlessly.”

“All of the Sport Northern Ireland staff are privileged to have worked with the athletes at the Glasgow Games and their journey here so far.

“It is hugely rewarding to hear how they have valued the support from Sport Northern Irelands’ Sports Institute staff and we are so proud of Team NI,” added Ms McKeown.

She added: “Glasgow has been a tremendous host for the 2014 Games and I would like to pay tribute to the organisers of the Games for a job well done.”

“Sport has the power to unite people and this has certainly been demonstrated over the last 10 days.

“Our job now is to build on the success of the 2014 Games and look to the future.

“We need to ensure we provide pathways and building blocks for athletes to progress right through their sporting careers from the playground to the podium.”