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Recognition Award


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Sam McFarland (Motorsport)

In early June, Sam travelled to England to compete for Northern Ireland in the Deaf Euro Nations Karting Championships. The then 19-year-old, who is better known for his two-wheeled exploits as a mainstay of the Irish Minibike Championship, helped his four-wheeled team-mates to an impressive fifth overall, with the Gortin rider reaching the semi-finals in wet conditions. Unfortunately for Sam, his motorbike racing season was cut short during the IMC’s winter series, when a heavy crash during a race left him with a serious head injury.

Carla Priestley (Swimming)

Carla enjoys all sports but it was her efficient back stroke in the pool which she has fine tuned through hard work and commitment that earned her a well deserved Swimming Gold medal as well as Silver medal at the Ireland Special Olympics Games in Dublin, representing Ulster and of course her home Omagh Spires Club with great distinction. A hugely popular club member, Carla’s achievements are an inspiration to her colleagues and further success surely awaits in the coming season.

Francis Meenagh (Athletics/Bocce)

A long serving athlete with the Starbreakers Club, Francis has competed for the club since 2003 and continues to go from strength to strength. A three times Ulster winner and former Gold medalist in the Ireland Special Olympics Games Francis has also won numerous regional medals and was part of the first ever Ulster Athletics League winning team. He is currently playing the sport of Bocce in the Special Olympics Ulster League for the Carmen Strollers.

Sammy Jo Sweeney (Athletics/Bocce)

Sammy Jo, a founder member of the Starbreakers, has an impressive array of titles. She has won five Ulster Championships and is a four time All Ireland Champion. Sammy represented Team Ireland in the World Championships in Dublin Ireland in 2003 and Shanghai China in 2007, clinching Silver and Bronze medals. She represented Ulster in Athletics and Golf and has now added the sport of Bocce where she plays for the Carmen Strollers. Her claim to fame is that she was the first Irish Athlete to win a medal at the World Summer Games held in Dublin.

Lee Mitchell (Equestrian)

Lee is a very enthusiastic and conscientious young man. He is a keen sportsman, involved in Swimming, Bocce and Equestrian throughout the year but it has been on horseback that he has really excelled. Just one of the 273 athletes representing Ulster at the Ireland Special Olympic Games in Dublin last summer he clinched two Equestrian Gold medals. The Omagh Spires Club member capped off a tremendous season by being selected to represent Ireland in the World Special Olympic Games this March out in Dubai.

Katie Ann McGoldrick (Equestrian)

Katie Ann has reached the RDA National Championships in England for three consecutive years having successfully qualified at the regionals held at the Danescroft Equestrian Centre in Lisburn. The Nationals in Hartpury is the largest and most fiercely contested RDA Championships in Europe but despite the level of competition Katie Ann won the Walk/Trot freestyle to music and was second in the grade 2 walk trot dressage. She is presently a volunteer with the Omagh RDA Group weekly assisting with the young riders and horse care and is part of a newly formed interschools team.

Please note: One vote per IP address. Your vote does not determine the overall winner but helps create awareness of the shortlisted nominees.

Deadlines: For ‘public view’ of votes: Monday 25th February 2019 10am

Final voting deadline is: Friday 1st March 2019 10am



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