Football: Mid Ulster Ladies get season off to a flying start

'Last Man Standing' winners Eimear McGarrity and  Gavin Rodgers receiving their prizes from Alice Smith
'Last Man Standing' winners Eimear McGarrity and Gavin Rodgers receiving their prizes from Alice Smith

After a short winter break Mid Ulster ladies have started the New Year with a blaze of activity.

First up was the matter of awarding the prizes to ‘Last Man Standing’ winners, Eimear McGarrity and Gavin Rodgers.

'Last Man Standing' winners Eimear McGarrity and  Gavin Rodgers receiving their prizes from Alice Smith

'Last Man Standing' winners Eimear McGarrity and Gavin Rodgers receiving their prizes from Alice Smith

The prizemoney was split between the two football brains and was presented by club member Alice Smith.

After a lot of behind the scenes work by club chairperson Elaine Junk a major award of £6,646 was secured from Sport NI.

This funding was to provide the basis of a 25 week programme where the club would train coaches to provide taster sessions for girls in local schools.

During these sessions the Mid Ulster coaches will provide information for the girls regarding the Mid Ulster club and introduce the participants to the clubs Junior training sessions.

Funding also facilitated this junior training taking place on Monday nights at the Mid Ulster sports arena in the new covered 4G pitch which has proved very beneficial especially during the recent inclement weather.

This programme is continuing at present from 6.30– 7.30pm on Monday nights and girls aged 6–14 are welcome to attend.

With increasing numbers the club has recently entered an Under 11 and Under 15 team in the IFA futsal league for girls in Shankill Leisure centre and funding has provided training for mini bus driver and hire of transport to and from this event.

The girls got off to a flying start in the first week of games with the Under 11s competing in the non-competitive section against Glentoran.

The Under 15s edged a thriller 3-2 against a strong Lisburn team.

The second week of the competition saw the Under 15s continue their winning run with comprehensive 5-1 victories over a useful Cliftonville side and then a decent Foyle outfit.

There are also plans to run a blitz at the end of the programme, subject to planning, with further details to follow.

Sport NI have been delighted with the increased numbers coming along to the Mid Ulster Junior section and Chief executive Antoinette McKeown commented: “Sport NI is delighted to have funded this project.

“It is great to see that our investment of £6,646 is providing value for money and increased sporting opportunities.”

She went on to say: “Projects such as this are vital in increasing the number of children and adults experiencing enjoying and participating in sport and physical activity.”

For anyone interested in participating, junior training for girls aged between 6-14 years continues on Monday night between 6.30– 7.30pm at the Mid Ulster Sports Arena covered pitch.