NI Athletes join Athletics NI President Pam Brown to launch the NI & Ulster Track & Field Championships 2016:
Mary Peters Track to Host all NI & Ulster Age Group and Senior Track & Field Championships for 2016, in conjunction with Athletics NI and Ulster Athletics.
Athletes from across Northern Ireland & Ulster will have the opportunity to yet again compete at the International Mary Peters Track Sport Venue on Saturday 11th June and Sunday 19th June, which recently held the prestigious Belfast International Meet on the 7th May.
Organised jointly by Athletics Northern Ireland and Ulster Athletics, the regular three day sporting Championships, will now be hosting the Championships over two day period due to the jammed packed Track and Field Fixture list. With the Europeans and Olympic Games just around the corner, there just isn’t the room on the calendar to facilitate a three day event. The first day of events will kick off on Saturday 11th June, with the U14 to U17 age group Championships, followed on Sunday 19th June by the Senior and U18 to U20 Championships.
It is hoped that the Senior Championship event, which is serving as a great warm up for those still looking to gain standards for the 2016 European Championships and Olympics in Rio, will succeed in continuing to attract hundreds to the stadium on its Upper Malone Road site by showcasing international and local talent.
A group of NI Athletes, joined newly appointed President of Athletics NI Pam Brown to launch the 2016 event at the Mary Peters Track, Belfast. The current NI U20 Record holder Andrew Barkley of City of Lisburn, has recently improved his throw in the Discus by approximately 3 metres and is keen to maintain his title at the Championships on the 19th June. North Down’s World Championships 2015 competitor in Beijing, Ben Reynolds is hoping for some strong competition in the 110mH event. Recent third place winner in the Belfast International Meet, just two weeks previous, Jonathan Browning of Ballymena & Antrim, will have his fighting game on to pull through into the top 3 at the NI & Ulster Senior Championships. 2014 Commonwealth Games athletes Peter Glass of City of Lisburn and Ballymena & Antrim’s Christine McMahon, who also competed in the 2014 Euro’s and the Belfast International Meet 2016 will also be aiming to compete on the 19th June. Christine who set her quickest ever season opener to break the BUCS record to finisher 2nd, will be looking to take back the gold medal. All athletes are aiming to be major contenders in the 2016 Championships.
General Secretary of Athletics Northern Ireland, John Allen, said: “The NI & Ulster Championships has always been a fantastic event, especially due to the International sporting facility that we are able to offer our athletes.” John Allen continued “The Mary Peters Track is a world class standard venue that is open to the whole athletics community, catering to all levels of the sport from school children and club athletes to those training to compete at an international level.”
“I am overjoyed that we are again hosting the NI & Ulster Track & Field Championships at the Mary Peters Track. Having recently hosted the 2016 Belfast International Meet, the Mary Peters Track is now being renowned as a world class venue and more athletes are wanting to compete on it. Due to this we are hoping to attract athletes from further afield to come to the Mary Peters Track, whether for the first time or the tenth time, which will enhance a great day for athletics”, reiterated Pam Brown, President of Athletics NI.
John Allen, General Secretary of Athletics NI stated, “The Championships are open to all, so we are also hoping to attract competitors for outside Northern Ireland and Ulster to enhance the event and provide a good competitive opportunity for our local athletes.”
Following an invitation to Manchester Games on Wednesday 17th August, Athletics NI & Ulster Athletics have decided that following the NI & Ulster Senior Championships a team of approximately 20 senior athletes will be selected to compete in a Home Countries International against England, Scotland and Wales. As an extra incentive for Northern Ireland and Ulster’s top athletes to compete in June, the committee will only be selecting athletes who compete in the NI & Ulster Senior Championships for this International. All selection criteria will be available from www.athleticsni.org.
Tom Reynolds, Athlete Development Lead for Athletics NI, said “This is a great opportunity for our top senior and aspiring international athletes to help make our senior championships a great event and at the same time give themselves a great chance of representing NI & Ulster in August.” John Allen, General Secretary of Athletics NI reiterated Tom’s point “We are delighted that for the first time in a number of years we will be sending a senior team to a full International Meet. As Tom has said, selections will be based largely on performances at the Senior Championships on June, so I hope this will give a significant boost the event.
Following the success of the Belfast International Meet, live streaming will again be available on the day of the Senior Championships. Not only that we are also developing a 360 degree Virtual Reality Panoramic Video of the championships. Sit in the stand, but feel like you are right out there in the midst of the games and watch each event as it happens. Athletics NI General Secretary John Allen, said “Live streaming is the way forward and we are aiming to provide this straight onto our newly upgraded website. We hope all these developments will help towards providing an excellent platform for our athletes to improve and develop.”
All information regarding the Championships can be found on www.athleticsni.org.