WITH a magnificent hockey season behind him Cookstown High School student Ian Sloan has had his achievemtns recognised by a top sports governing body.

The Year 13 student has been applauded for his individual talent and leadership abilities which have also been widely acknowledged both in Ireland and the United Kingdom.

Last August Ian captained the Irish under 18 Team when they won the Home Countries Championship.

In September he captained the Northern Ireland under 19 Team in the UK Youth Games and was named Northern Ireland Player of the Tournament.

In October Ian scored seven goals to ensure Ulster won the Inter Provincial Championships in Dublin.

During the past school year Ian scored over 50 goals for his school and captained the school first eleven to victory in the McCullough Cup final, winning 4 2 with Ian scoring a hat trick and winning the Man of the Match award.

A few weeks later Ian once again scored hat tricks for his school team, this time in the Burney Cup Semi Final and Final when he was once again named Man of the Match.

At club level Ian cemented his place on the town’s first eleven and scored a number of important goals including two in the Kirk Cup Semi Final and the Irish Senior Cup Final.

Following the Irish Senior Cup Final match Ian was once again named the recipient of the Man of the Match Award. At only 17 years of age, playing in his first ever Irish Senior Cup Final, this was an amazing honour for the young Cookstown High School pupil.

In early May Ian attended the Ulster Hockey Branch Dinner where he was presented with the Ulster Senior Player of the Year award. This is of particular note as Ian is the first schoolboy to ever receive this prestigious award.

A few weeks later Ian was invited to attend the end of season Irish Hockey Awards at the Burlington Hotel in Dublin where he was named Irish Young Player of the Year.

Ian will represent Ireland this summer in the Under 18 European Championships in Utrecht, Holland and while the school and club season may have come to a close Ian’s representative hockey rolls on throughout the summer.

Two seasons ago Ian was asked to join the elite athlete programme with the Sports Institute for Northern Ireland. He has also been supported by the Mary Peters Trust and this year, to cap what has been a truly remarkable year for Ian, he was recently presented with the Mary Peters Outstanding Young Sports Person of the Year Award. This trophy was presented to him by none other than 5 times Olympic Gold Medallist, Sir Steve Redgrave.

Ian’s achievements has brought great credit and recognition not only to himself and his family but also to his school, Cookstown High School and indeed the Cookstown district.

Well done Ian we are very proud of you and wish you continued success in the future.