Awards night for Sailability volunteers

Prize winners pictured with Mayor of Carrick Alderman Billy Ashe.  INCT 07-720-CON
Prize winners pictured with Mayor of Carrick Alderman Billy Ashe. INCT 07-720-CON

Belfast Lough Sailability volunteers have been recognised for their contribution during a prize-giving dinner earlier this month.

Supporters of the Carrick-based charity, their families and friends attended the event at the Clarion Hotel on February 1.

Speaking at the event, BLS Chairman Jim Boyd thanked the Mayor of Carrickfergus Alderman Billy Ashe for the support of the council and Marina and Harbour facility.

Mr Boyd also paid tribute to Chairman of the Royal Yachting Association Northern Ireland, Ronnie Browne, Commodore of Carrickfergus Sailing Club Roger Woodward and the Carrickfergus Community Forum for their support.

Over fifty awards were handed out at the event, with recent New Years Honours recipient Geraldine Duggan BEM receiving the Mary Popper Trophy for her outstanding work for the charity.

Stephen Molloy was handed the Breakaway Adventure Trophy for his endurance fundraising sail, along with a special one-off award for Bill Foster’s fundraising tandem cycle from Mizen to Malin Head.

Tom Robinson received the BLS Outstanding Contribution Trophy for his commitment, dedication and inspiration to others.

Some 24 Belfast Lough Salability awards and certificates were handed out to volunteers of all ages and abilities.

A further 15 RYA/ Sailability log book scheme achievements were awarded, including two gold achievement awards for local sailors Thomas and Martyn Quinn.

Two of the group’s youngest members, Curtis and Billie Jo, received recognition through the Lady Taverners Spirit of Sport Scheme for under-15s with disability.

Music at the event was provided by family and friends, with volunteer Anne Taylor thanked for organising the night.

Meanwhile, maintenance work and training is continuing for the charity as they prepare for the new season to commence on Wednesday April 9.