Achievements of “Ballymena Community Sports Programme” celebrated at the prestigious National Lottery Awards
The Sport Northern Ireland funded Ballymena Community Sports Programme has been recognised as one of the UK’s best Lottery-funded sports projects at a star-studded ceremony in London.
Staff and volunteers from Ballymena Community Sports Programme - which provides opportunities for young people living in disadvantaged areas of Ballymena to take part in sport - mingled with celebrity guests, including boxing star Ricky ‘The Hitman’ Hatton, TV presenter Anne Robinson, Amanda Mealing (Connie in Holby City), Emma Barton (Honey Mitchell in EastEnders) and pop rock band McFly at the star-studded award show, which was broadcast live on BBC 1 on Saturday 30 August.
A record number of public votes were cast in this year’s annual National Lottery Awards and the Ballymena Community Sports Programme received an incredible show of public support throughout all stages of the competition to become a runner-up in the Best Sport Project category.
Gary Boyd from the project, says:
“We are absolutely thrilled to have reached the finals of The National Lottery Awards. We beat hundreds of other projects from all over the UK to get to this stage and it has been the most tremendous experience. We have been overwhelmed by the support we received from the public. The Awards have been a fantastic opportunity for us to thank everyone who is involved in our project, especially the people behind the scenes who have allowed us to make the most of our Lottery funding and help make our project a success.”
About the project:
Ballymena Community Sports Programme was created to provide opportunities for young people living in disadvantaged areas of Ballymena, to take part in sport. Over £160,000 of Lottery funding enabled the programme to set up football centres in two of Britain's most economically deprived areas. To date, more than 2,000 children participate regularly in programmes such as football, hockey, basketball, dance, Ju-Jitsu, cricket, rugby and trampolining.
The National Lottery Awards:
Now in their fifth successful year, The National Lottery Awards are an annual search to find the UK’s favourite Lottery-funded projects. The Awards recognise the difference that Lottery-funded projects - both large and small - make to local communities, and celebrate the achievements of the people behind them.
Since The National Lottery began in 1994, players have raised more than £21 billion – that’s £25 million a week - for Good Causes with over 300,000 grants given out across arts, sport, heritage, charities, health, education and the environment.
Find out more at www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk