TOP Junior Rally star Adam Bustard took the chequered flag ahead of the field to be crowned the Overall 2016 UH Sports Personality of the Year on a memorable and fun-filled Friday night at Kelly’s Inn, Garvaghey.
A packed house was in attendance to see the Castlederg teenager, who secured a podium finish at last year’s prestigious Circuit of Ireland, speed away from the opposition to take the top prize on the evening.
Now in its 17th year, the UH Sports Personality of the Year Awards, held in association with Main Street, again attracted top stars and teams from a wide variety of sporting pursuits who had all grabbed the headlines in 2016.
But the star of the night was undoubtedly Adam Bustard who in the past 12 months has really enhanced his reputation as one of the most exciting young talents in British and Irish Rallying.
The Young Sports Personality of the Year prize went to Loughmacrory handball starlet Mairead Fox who made history this past year, becoming the first ever Ulster player to complete a clean sweep of five national titles.
The latest UH Hall of Fame inductee was Gortin’s very own ‘Ice Queen’ Eimir McSwiggan.
Based in South Korea, Eimir took up the gruelling and challenging sport of ice climbing just six years ago and is now established as one of the top ten at the daring pursuit in the world. One of the most popular winners on the evening was Conor Allison, from Carrickmore, who scooped the Special Achievement Award having donated thousands of pounds to Cheshire Disability charity. After completing a one mile swim at Omagh Leisure Complex, and rallying the troops to complete the Omagh 5K Fun Run, Conor, who suffers from Spina Bifida, took his bravery to dizzying new heights when he completed a 13,000ft tandem skydive.
Another sports star who received a rousing welcome to the stage was athlete Maeve Grimes from Beragh, a double medalist at the Ulster West Special Olympics Area Games, and Starbreakers’ Special Olympics Athlete of the Year.
On the night there was also success for two Gaelic Football teams. The Tyrone SFC champions Killyclogher St Mary’s were named Senior Team of the Year, and the County double winning Carrickmore Minors sealed the Young Team of the Year prize.
The budding young horse riders from Drumragh Integrated College, who recorded some notable achievements in 2016, were named School Team of the Year, while Ardstraw FC earned due reward for huge progress both on and off the pitch when they were named Club of the Year .
12 page souvenir pullout in Thursday’s Ulster Herald