Athletes chosen for Dale Farm Academy

Boxer Brendan Irvine, Gillian Hetherington and Caroline Martin
Boxer Brendan Irvine, Gillian Hetherington and Caroline Martin

Five of Northern Ireland’s most promising young athletes have been selected to the 2015-16 Dale Farm Athletes Academy.

The Academy is an elite programme devoted to helping rising sports stars reach their goals.

In partnership with Mary Peters Trust, each athlete receives one-on-one mentoring from experts in sports nutrition, psychology and media at the upcoming Dale Farm Athletes Academy Masterclass.

Dale Farm also grants a £1,000 bursary to each winner to help with costs such as travel to competitions, kit and equipment.

Following a competitive selection process, the 2015-16 Dale Farm Athletes are Brendan Irvine (boxing), Sam Bothwell (tennis), Conor Ferguson (swimming), Ben Fisher (athletics) and Liam Glynn (sailing).

Boxer Irvine has multiple international honours under his belt, including a Gold medal at the 2015 Gee Bee Elite Multi-Nations and a Silver medal at the 2015 European Games.He recently won the Irish Elite Flyweight championships and a Silver Medallist at the European Games and dreams of making it to the Olympics in 2020.

Over the last nine years, Dale Farm has made a considerable contribution to local sports through the Dale Farm Athletes Academy.

Caroline Martin, Head of Marketing, Dale Farm, said: “Every year we receive more and more applications from promising young athletes competing in a range of sports.

“It is amazing for us to see the world class sporting talent representing Northern Ireland. We are very proud of the five athletes selected for this year’s award.

“You will see from their accomplishments and their ambitions for the future that they are already great ambassadors and we wish them the best in their upcoming competitions.

“As Northern Ireland’s leading dairy company, we are committed to supporting grassroots athletics and helping young people enjoy an active lifestyle.

“We are confident that Brendan, Sam, Conor, Ben and Liam will go on to achieve great things and we cannot wait to see what they accomplish in the coming years.”

Gillian Hetherington, Executive Manager, Mary Peters Trust, added: “The five athletes chosen for this year’s Dale Farm Athletes Academy are truly exceptional athletes.

“To be an elite athlete requires a huge amount of commitment, including training every day and travel for competitions around the world.

“Competing at an international level takes a toll on their families, as parents often accompany these young athletes while they travel.

“They have devoted so much time, money and energy to achieving their goals and we know each of them is very grateful for Dale Farm’s help, both through financial support and mentoring.”