Sport Northern Ireland Calling out for Lockdown Legends

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TV presenter Patrick Kielty with Geraldine McGarrigle and James McGurk of Ulster GAAÕs wheelchair hurling programme who have been named Best Sports Project in the 25th Birthday National Lottery Awards. They will receive a £10,000 cash prize and will be honoured at a special TV show to be broadcast on BBC One in November. use pic for free

Sport NI are scouting for local heroes that helped save their communities and vulnerable persons during the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown and chaos. Sport NI would be grateful for anyone helped during the lockdown, to come forward and tell their story of community spirit, for submission to the National Lottery Awards.

The National Lottery Awards celebrate the ordinary people who do extraordinary things with the help of National Lottery funding.

This year, for the first time, the Awards will, honour individuals who have made an extraordinary impact in their community especially those who have adapted during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

There will be no public vote, but your nominations will be put before a judging panel made up of members of The National Lottery family and partners who will crown which of our hometown heroes or lockdown legends will pick up a coveted National Lottery Awards trophy and a £3,000 cash prize for their project.

Last year Northern Ireland had two sets winners recognised for the devotion to doing extraordinary feats, their stories are below, in no particular order.

Kelly Gallagher is an individual from Bangor, Northern Ireland, that was recognised for her feats in the National Lottery Awards 2019. She competes in all five alpine disciplines (slalom, downhill, combined, giant slalom and super-g) with her sighted guide at speeds regularly reaching 75mph. Kelly has oculocutaneous albinism and is visually impaired. She was the first athlete from Northern Ireland to compete in the Winter Paralympics. Gallagher won Britain’s first-ever Winter Paralympic gold medal during Sochi 2014. In January 2011 Gallagher became the first British athlete to win a medal at the IPC World Championships. She has won nine medals in the World Championships.

The next National Lottery Awards 2019 winner from Northern Ireland was a group submission from the Ulster branch of the GAA, Ireland’s largest sporting association, they have used funding from the National Lottery to develop all its Gaelic games for people with disabilities. The grant, which was part of Sport Northern Ireland’s Active Clubs programme, has allowed for two dedicated coordinators to introduce and deliver the sport, with great success. An Ulster provincial team was also established to participate in the All-Ireland Championships.

TV presenter Patrick Kielty with Geraldine McGarrigle and James McGurk of Ulster GAAÕs wheelchair hurling programme who have been named Best Sports Project in the 25th Birthday National Lottery Awards. They will receive a £10,000 cash prize and will be honoured at a special TV show to be broadcast on BBC One in November. use pic for free
TV presenter Patrick Kielty with members of Ulster GAAÕs wheelchair hurling programme who have been named Best Sports Project in the 25th Birthday National Lottery Awards. They will receive a £10,000 cash prize and will be honoured at a special TV show to be broadcast on BBC One in November. use pic for free

If you know anyone who’s a local hero in your community’s eyes, it’s time to get them some recognition for their devotion and community spirit. The deadline for nominations is midnight on 19 August. For more information or to submit your story please visit: https://www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk/awards. You can keep up to date with all the Sport NI news on the Sport NI website: http://www.sportni.net/ or follow Sport NI on their social media channels.