Castlederg high jumper Sommer Lecky’s record breaking season received the icing on the cake at the Fir Trees Hotel on Wednesday night as she claimed the Sports Star of the Year Award at the 2016/17 Derry and Strabane Sports Awards.
The rising Finn Valley AC star broke the Irish Youth record on her way to claiming gold in the national indoor championships earlier this year as well as winning the Scottish Open and English Indoor Under 20 titles in a breakthrough season.
The event was also an opportunity for the City and District’s sports fraternity to remember two local soccer legends as Derry City captain Ryan McBride and Strabane soccer stalwart Felix McCrossan posthumously entered the Sports Awards Hall of Fame.
Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor Maolíosa McHugh, was guest of honour at the awards where he congratulated everyone who played their part in another memorable year for local sport.
“I’d like to congratulate all the winners and nominees in the 2017 Derry and Strabane Sports Awards,” he said.
“The Awards are an ideal way to acknowledge and reward the hard work and dedication that so many local people put into sport at all levels across the City and District.
“Our local sports people have once again achieved notable success at local, national and international level and this is the perfect opportunity to recognise that.
“As well as justifiably highlighting the outstanding sporting achievements of the last 12 months, the awards recognise the many unsung grassroots heroes in our Council area whose commitment and dedication to their communities is genuinely inspiring.”
Honouring coaches of all levels is a major element of the Awards and Maydown Olympic ABC boxing coach Georgie Gormley was awarded the Coach of the Year award while Oxford Bulls coach Kevin Morrison claimed the Disability Coach of the Year title.
Judo player Kirstie Strouts McCallion and Strabane AC’s Gareth Crawford claimed the Female and Male Young Sports Star titles respectively while Eugene McGeever claimed the Disability Sports Star of the Year award for his success in a number of different sports.
In the team sections St Mary’s Primary School Strabane’s Boys and Girls Futsal sides were School Team of the Year for their remarkable double success at the Northern Ireland schools finals while Donemana’s cricketers won Team of the Tear and Sion Swifts Ladies claimed the coveted Club of the Year title.
Rising Tyrone GAA Star Cathal McShane’s outstanding year was also recognised as he received the Special award.
The full list of winners were: Coach of the Year: Georgie Gormley, Community Coach of the Year: Gerard Lundy, Children’s Coach of the Year: Sean Laverty Young Coach of the Year: Sloan O’Donnell Female Coach of the Year: Bridgeen Byrne, Disability Coach of the Year: Kevin Morrison Sports Star of the Year: Sommer Lecky, Young Male Sports Star of the Year: Gareth Crawford Young Female Sports Star of the Year: Kirstie Strouts McCallion, School Team of the Year: St Mary’s PS Boys and Girls Futsal Teams, Team of the Year: Donemana Cricket Team, Sports Star of the Year with a disability: Eugene McGeever, Special Award: Cathal McShane, Hall of Fame: Felix McCrossan and Ryan McBride, Club of the Year: Sion Swifts Ladies Football Club