The 33rd Annual Derry District Sports Council Awards were held in the City Hotel on Friday evening.
The cream of Derry’s sporting fraternity attended the gala event at which Derry Olympian Elaine McLaughlin was inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Mrs. McLaughlin, who now resides in Dublin, represented Derry and Great Britain at the 1988 Seoul games in the 400 metres hurdles event.
The hurdler was the seventh city Olympian to be inducted.
Indeed two further Olympians were honoured at these, the 33rd annual Sports Awards, Aileen Morrison and Jason Smyth. Both those athletes received “London 2012 merit Awards” due to their success at the summer games.
Triathlete, Morrison and double Paralympian gold medallist, Jason Smyth who repeated his Beijing 2008 heroics in lifting two gold medals, were not among the 350 people who attended the event however.
Guest of honour was Northern Ireland International football manager, Michael O’Neill, who congratulated Derry on its City of Culture award, he joked; “Having knocked Ballymena into second place in the cultural stakes.”
Among the other gongs handed out on the night were Special Sports Personality awards to 2012 FAI Cup winners, Derry City; world kickboxing champions, Daniel Pinta’ Quigley and Aidan Lafferty; Swim Ireland Chairperson, Eugene Hillick; Athletics N.I. President, Gerry Lynch and Northern Ireland International netball coach, Elaine Rice.
Following her silver medal at the World Karate Championships in July, the senior Female Sports Personality award was collected by karate expert Catherine Gillespie.
The Senior Male Sports Award was presented to Scott Rankin. The Male Masters Award was lifted by Judo exponent, Gavin Abel and the Female Masters by Hannah Shields.
Services to sport awards were presented to Oxford FC’s Noel Crampsey, and boxing coach Eugene O’Kane.
Mr. O’Kane’s contemporary, Mr. Kevin McGilloway was also presented with a Sports Coach Award.
Team awards were presented to Foyle Strikers Ladies Team (Sports with Disabilities), Derry Colts (Junior Team), Oxford United (Juvenile Team), Derry Colts (Youth Team), Broadbridge PS netball team (Primary Schools Award), Lumen Christi College Swimming Team (Post Primary Award) and The City of Derry Ladies Athletics Team collected the Sports Team Award.
Praising all involved for their endeavour, Mr. Michael Hutton, Chairman of the District Sports Council said: “Borrowing on a phrase by Andy McClea, previous chair of the Sports Council; ‘In my eyes they are all truly winners.’”
“As always the Award’s team strives to provide recognition to individual performers, teams, coaches and officials for the work that they do, as well as their success in competition.
“I would like to thank all those involved especially those who took time to nominate the sports people presented with awards.”