Tyrone’s Olympic legacy celebrated by national charity

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A TALENTED young singer from County Tyrone is in the spotlight after featuring in a short film for national charity Legacy Trust UK. Joseph McVeigh, 16, from Eglish has been part of the ImagineAction project funded by Legacy Trust UK for four years. Legacy Trust UK is an independent charity that was set up to create a lasting legacy from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, by funding creativity and talent across the UK. ImagineAction, part of the Connections programme in Northern Ireland managed by the Arts Council, is a performing arts project for talented young sports players.

Joseph was chosen by Legacy Trust UK to appear in the film because his achievements show the inspirational work that has been happening with young people across the UK.

A keen soccer and Gaelic football player, Joseph has always had a passion for music and singing, but had lacked the confidence to follow his dream because it was considered ‘not cool’ by his peers. Taking part in ImagineAction performances gave Joseph the chance to enjoy drama and singing again. He has since taken part in a professional performance at the Bardic Theatre at Donaghmore and is working with a producer to record his own music.

Kathryn O’Neill, Director of Beam Creative Network says, “The aim of the project was to encourage sporting young children from a rural community to transfer their performance skills from the track, the field and the pitch onto the stage. Opportunities for young people from a rural community don’t come about every day of the week, so I wouldn’t ever underestimate the legacy that this project has had”.

Joseph says, “For a while I was getting a lot of teasing for doing the stuff I want to do. About half way through ImagineAction I realised I don’t care what other people say, I’m going to pick up my guitar, I’m going to write music and I’m going to show them that I’m talented. It really gave me the confidence to put pen to paper and write my own music.”

Julie Morrow, Director of Communications at Legacy Trust UK says, “We were delighted to work with Joseph and his family in making this film because he is such a talented young man who has really benefitted from taking part in ImagineAction. Getting the chance to see Joseph perform his own music was a particular highlight”.

Joseph’s story was one of six from across the UK to be selected by the charity. The films can be viewed online at www.youtube.com/legacytrustuk.