SPORTS AWARDS: Eileen saddles up for more success in 2015

Eileen Burns, Adult Sportsperson of the Year, receives her award from Francis Scullion, of sponsors Ballymena Credit Union. INBT06-228AC
Eileen Burns, Adult Sportsperson of the Year, receives her award from Francis Scullion, of sponsors Ballymena Credit Union. INBT06-228AC

Eileen Burns’ meteoric rise from cycling novice to multiple Ulster champion saw her crowned Adult Sportsperson of the Year.

Eileen had only taken up the sport three years ago after getting involved through her father-in-law Jim Burns and her husband Jason, both members of Ballymena Road Club.

Since then, the transformation has been incredible, with her performances at club level in 2014 surpassed only by her achievements in Ulster open events.

Chief among these was an unprecedented run of success, winning the Elite ladies time trial championship at 10, 25, 50 and 100 miles.

“I started cycling about three years ago but this was my first year of open racing,” said Eileen, who paid tribute to the support of her husband.

“We fell out a couple of times at the start and turned in opposite directions!

“But I couldn’t be without him because I don’t know anything about the bike - I just get on it and pedal!

“I got a good Christmas present of a time trial bike which really got me into it.

“I never thought I would win all four (Ulster titles) - I just thought I would give it a go.

“I suppose the 100 mile time trial was the ultimate goal - just to even finish it was a big thing.

“All you can do when you go out there is do your best.

“Last year, I went out with the club members and went to the gym.

“I have already started training more this year so I hope to be more successful in 2015,” added Eileen.

Also short-listed: Jonny Steede (running); Sharon Magee (powerlifting).