Bursary win for Ballymena runner Lauren

Bursary winner - champion sprint and relay runner Lauren Roy from Ballymena
Bursary winner - champion sprint and relay runner Lauren Roy from Ballymena

Champion sprint and relay runner Lauren Roy has been selected to receive a £2,000 Power NI bursary to help her develop and improve her training programme.

She is one of three new inspirational young athletes aiming to secure European, Commonwealth and Olympic achievements with support from Power NI’s partnership with the Mary Peters Trust.

Power NI’s initiative working with the Trust provides funding bursaries for young athletes to help them get on track to achieve their sporting ambitions.

Runner Lauren, alongside judo player Callum Nash and canoeist, Afton Fitzhenry, has been selected to receive a £2000 Power NI bursary.

In addition to helping the upcoming sporting heroes get on track to achieve their sporting ambitions, all three have been appointed as ‘Power NI community sporting ambassadors’ with the aim of encouraging other young athletes to push forward and achieve their own sporting goals.They join three existing ambassadors, triathlete Erin McConnell, wheelchair basketball player Conn Nagle and trampolinist Ryan Devine who received their bursaries in April.

Eighteen-year-old Lauren will use her bursary to cover travel and training costs during her gap year to concentrate on athletics. Next year she will be travelling to Portugal, Florida and Tenerife to compete in European and international championships.

Lauren said: “I’m proud of what I have already achieved, especially my ranking as number one in all of Ireland, however I feel as though I’m only getting started. My goals next year are to compete in the European Senior Championships and World Senior Indoor Championships, but the long-term plan is the 2022 Commonwealth Games and ultimately the 2024 Olympic Games.

“Thanks to Power NI and the Mary Peters Trust I can succeed in my training, wellbeing care and competing. The Mary Peters Trust is such an invaluable charity for up and coming athletes such as myself that need help and recognition to achieve for the future and I’m very grateful.”

Stephen McCully, Managing Director of Power NI, said: “Sport plays such an important role in any society whether at provincial or Olympic champion level. Power NI’s goal is to put people at the heart at what we do, which is why we want to play our part in helping these three young people realise their sporting dreams as well as supporting Lady Mary and the tremendous work by her Trust.”

Lady Mary Peters said: “The achievements of these three young people are nothing short of outstanding. They are inspiring role models for their peers and fellow athletes, and we are proud to support them to achieve their goals. I look forward to hearing about their successes in 2020. Funding support to help talented and hard-working athletes reach their potential has never been more important and I’m immensely grateful to Power NI for their financial contributions.”

The new community athletes’ initiative is part of a support package for the Mary Peters Trust which includes financial support for ongoing Trust fundraising events.