Ballyclare teacher reaches hockey final after cancer ‘all-clear’

Gary and James.
Gary and James.

A teacher at Ballyclare High School is preparing to captain Lisnagarvey in the Irish Senior Cup Final, having received the all clear from testicular cancer.

This time last year was very different for Mr Corry as he was finishing his last round of chemotherapy.

Since then he has received the all clear from testicular cancer, got engaged, bought a house and led the Ballyclare High girls to the Schools’ Cup Final.

Thanking the Rashee Road school for the support he has received, James Corry said: “I am just delighted to be captaining Lisnagarvey at the Irish Senior Cup Final in

May at Three Rock Rovers Hockey Club.

“Hockey is a massive passion of mine and it allows me to relax after work, it can be difficult when rushing from school hockey to my club matches on a

Saturday, but worth it.

“I am very grateful for all the support from school and my club and feel both have allowed me to keep busy and get back to full fitness. This year has also been very special working with the girls’ and boys’ teams here in school and watching them develop.”

James is not the only teacher from the school to be excelling at sport this year.

Father-of-two, Gary Clotworthy is Head Coach of Ballyclare High School Medallion rugby side and is getting ready for his second consecutive Towns’ Cup Final, having won last year against Portadown.

It has been a very busy rugby season for him at club level and he has been called into the initial Ulster Juniors squad.

Gary said: “The highlight for me this season was getting the opportunity to work as a head coach of the Medallion rugby team. I feel the team really developed as the season went on and if it hadn’t been for a few issues going against us, I feel we could have walked away with some silverware.

“I could not have done this without the support of Jordan McKinstry as my forwards coach, Mr McKeever helping with coaching and fixtures and parents Graham Ferguson and Simon Baird.

“At club level the highlight was having such a successful season and now getting to defend our Towns’ Cup Trophy on Easter Monday at Kingspan. Our success has been down to the hard work our coaches and players have displayed.

“It has also been great working and playing alongside fellow school coaches Aaron Playfair, Jordan McKinstry and Matthew Coulter.”

Special mention also goes to Mike McKeever for the time and effort he puts into rugby in Ballyclare High and Ballyclare Rugby Club.

A school spokesperson said: “As Director of Rugby in Ballyclare High School he has moved mountains in regards to the opportunities available for both boys and girls and as a result the numbers playing are higher than ever.

“He is a huge believer in the power of sport as a means of developing young people. Mr McKeever has fully immersed himself in our community through his work at the rugby club for not just the 1stXV, but also in his commitment to shaping progress at all levels.

“Best wishes to Gary Clotworthy and Mike McKeever on April 22, 2.30pm kick off, and to James Corry on May 12. Hopefully plenty of school and town support from Ballyclare will come out to support you all.”