Olympic gold medallist visits Magherafelt school choir supporting Mary Peters Trust

Dame Mary with girls from St Mary's choir who will be singing for her Trust
Dame Mary with girls from St Mary's choir who will be singing for her Trust

Olympic gold medallist Dame Mary Peters paid a visit to St Mary’s choir, which is hard at work for the sporting legend’s Go the Distance fundraiser.

Dame Mary said the event, which will feature music inspired by sport, is part of her drive to raise £1m “to leave an ongoing legacy for when I am no longer here”.

Dame Mary Peters visits St Marys Magherafelt

Dame Mary Peters visits St Marys Magherafelt

But denied any suggestion that she plans to retire soon.

Under the direction of musical genius Ashley Fulton, the choir will take to the stage at Island Hall on Saturday, February 13 along with 60 other singers, soloists, instrumentalists, a Dame and some sports personalities.

Hot on the heels of his music box event, Ashley agreed to take on the concert as an old friend of Dame Peters’.

“He has worked incredibly hard to get a lot of schools involved,” she explained.

Dame Mary with her Olympic gold medal

Dame Mary with her Olympic gold medal

“Music and sport have the same perseverance if you want to be good at it, and the more rounded outlook we can give to young people, the better they will get on in this world.”

Delighted to be onboard with the project, Ashley added: “I always thought that sport and music are connected through principals of discipline, dedication and commitment. The other connection is young people, which is why we have tired to involve so many.

“All the music in the concert has some connection with sport, there are a couple of Olympic themes.”

Irene Hynds, who’s Vice Principal at St Mary’s agrees with the link between sport and music.

“Mary was talking about what she did with practicing and getting better, and it helps them and it encourages them,” Mrs Hynds said. “Sometimes they might think ‘I’m not very good at it’, but to hear someone like Mary say ‘just get up and keep going and keep practicing’, it gives them that encouragement. It’s really important.”

Head of music Una Donnelly, said the 30-strong senior girls choir is looking forward to the event and that’s it’s great for them to get the chance to perform outside of the usual competitions.

“It is hard work, but it’s great for them to get out and sing just for fun,” she said.

Tickets for the event in Lagan Valley can be purchased at islandartscentre.com or by calling 028 9250 9254.