Maritime Reception Celebrates Residents' Olympic...
19 June 2012
A maritime reception has been held at Carrickfergus Marina to celebrate local residents sailing achievements leading up to London 2012.
Carrickfergus sailor Ryan Seaton and his team mate Matt McGovern have officially qualified Ireland for the 2012 Olympics in the 49er sailing discipline. It will be the first time since Athens 2004 that Ireland has been represented in the 49er Class. An intensive training programme is planned in the run up to the event.
Bill Keery (NI District Officer, Lt Commander, Carrickfergus Sea Cadets), Roger Woodward (Commodore, Carrickfergus Sailing Club), Cllr J Stewart, Cllr Mrs B McKnight, Cllr Mrs I Day, Ald J Brown, Deputy Mayor Cllr T Clements, Ryan Seaton, Nicola Blythe, Mayor Ald J McClurg, Cllr W Ashe, Matt McGovern, Mark Boyd.
Ryan Seaton & Matt McGovern (qualified to participate in Olympic Sailing 49er discipline)
In addition local members of Belfast Lough Sailability, Nicola Blythe and Mark Boyd were chosen to carry the Olympic flame on its recent journey across Northern Ireland.
Mark Boyd & Nicola Blythe (Official Torch Bearers – both part of Belfast Lough Sailability)
Christine Harper (Hon Sec for BLS) nominated the two torch bearers.
Nicola's nomination story
"In my position as Honorary Secretary of Belfast Lough Sailability, I would like to nominate Nicola Blythe to be a London 2012 Olympic Torchbearer. Nicola has worked tirelessly in her role as Volunteer Coordinator. Suffering a disability herself she works on determined to build up our core of volunteers several with disability so that the charity can offer sailing to those with disability of all ages. Nicola has devoted time and energy to improve her skills in sailing, boating, first aid and computing so that the volunteers have the best help and opportunities they can possibly have from their volunteer coordinator to improve their own skill levels. She also looks after our events programme and block bookings from special schools and groups keeping her eye out for those who could fulfil a dream to participate in the Paralympics. As sailing with the disabled demands a very high ratio of volunteers to participants Nicola constantly strives to ensure the sailing sessions are fully manned so that the disabled participants can get the most out of their time with our group. Her role is also to keep everyone informed and also encourage the use of a log book scheme so that a volunteer’s skills can be personally recorded. It is inspiring to see a disabled volunteer having their log book filled in and achieving a skill or qualification they would never have thought possible. It may be that Nicola will need to use a wheelchair to take part if chosen."
Mark's nomination story
"In my position as Honorary Secretary of Belfast Lough Sailability I would like to nominate Mark Boyd. Only a young lad Mark came to our group to help people with disability have access to the water. He was taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh scheme and from the moment he came down he did not miss a session. Quietly helping as is his way he learnt the skills he needed and when you turn around, Mark is there. Great on safety boat he looks after those out sailing taking part in a rescue situation that but for his quick thinking might have had a different outcome. At his own expense he did a kayak course so that he could help others enjoy the experience. Mark makes a real difference to our group and is the right age to have honed his skills to help disabled people along the path of participation in the 2016 paralympics. Being quiet by nature it is a good judgement of his character that he can make his presence felt in the exacting role of a Belfast Lough Sailability volunteer offering an opportunity to disabled people to take part in an activity that would not normally be available to them."
Congratulations to all involved!