Mid Ulster District Council held its fifth Civic Awards ceremony of 2017 this week to recognise formally the talent and achievement of local people.
The ceremony was a very busy one with 21 awards being distributed to recognise outstanding achievements and contributions in various fields notably business, dance and sport.
The event was hosted by the Chair of the Council, Councillor Kim Ashton, at the Glenavon Hotel, Cookstown.
By far the largest category of the night was dance, with 11 awards going to teams and individuals from one local dance group! Feet Beat Dance Club enjoyed amazing success at the recent Western Dance of Ireland Championships securing success in numerous categories. Lily Ryan was awarded for taking Gold in the 60+ competition, Shannon Maguire, Davina McKeown, Yasmin O’Neill and Gemma Armstrong won the adult team of 4 dance.
The success didn’t end there for Gemma or Shannon however- Gemma was also named the adult 25-35 and Proam Division Best Newcomer while Shannon won the Proam Division Novice title, Lily Ryan, Dana McPeake, Gisela Kerr and Maria Devlin won in the 30+ team category, Gisela also won the solo dance intermediate category while Dana and Eileen Bell claimed victory in the Open Division and Advanced section.
The child competitors had much to smile about too! Terez Hughes, Chiara McGeary, Alana O’Donnell and Mairead Donnelly won in the team of 4 Kids Choreography category with Terez and Chiara also taking the Kids Partners award and finally, 12 members of the club won the Children and Apos Club category!
In the sport category 7 teams and 1 individual received awards. The first 3 awards recognised GAA success. Pomeroy Plunketts GAC were awarded for claiming the Ulster Intermediate Champions title for only a second time in the Club’s history, Rock St Patrick’s GAC for taking the Ulster Club Junior Football Champions title and Tyrone Ladies for being crowned Ulster Champions for a second consecutive season.
Moving onto Hockey and in particular Rainey Hockey Club for the next 4 awards. The Club celebrated its most successful season to date with an entire catalogue of achievement.
The U11 team won the Ulster Champions title, the U15 squad reached the final of the Ulster Cup with 4 of the Club’s Under 15 players being selected to play for Ulster, the 2nd Senior Team won the Ulster Junior Cup and the 1st Senior Team took the Ulster Senior Cup, reached the Irish senior cup semi-finals and went on to secure promotion to the premier league which is the top division in senior Ulster hockey. Two senior players also represented Ireland at Under 18 and Under 21 level.
The final recipient in the sport category hailed from the hockey field also. Cookstown Hockey Club’s Keith Black was awarded for recently being named Ulster Hockey Player of the Year.
The sole recipient in the business category was local man John Toner, Chief Executive and Chairman of WIS Group who was named Business Person of the Year at the ninth Aer Lingus Viscount Awards.
The final award of the evening went to Anna Henry who was crowned Miss Northern Ireland. She will represent Northern Ireland in the Miss World finals in China next year.
Speaking at the event, Chair of the Council, Councillor Kim Ashton said, “There are many deserving individuals and groups of people in our community who make a strong impression throughout the region. Your dedication and commitment is greatly valued by the Council and the community alike and the award you receive tonight is a token of our sincere appreciation.
“This evening’s award recipients have all shone a positive ad glowing spotlight on Mid Ulster illustrating the profound level of talent and success that exists within it so I am extremely thankful to you all.”
For all the pictures from the event check out the Council's Facebook pages.