A young triathlete from Ballyclare recently received plaudits when she was awarded a prestigious all-Ireland athletics title.
Lauren Strange was crowned 2016 Triathlon Ireland Vodafone National Series Junior Female Champion following a very successful year of competition.
The 17-year-old won her age group in nine of the 11 races she competed in this season.
The Dominican College student will be presented with her accolade at a ceremony in Dublin on Saturday, November 26.
Speaking to the Times, her dad Paul said: “Lauren finished second last year. She has worked really hard to become the champion this year. She got the balance right between studying for her GCSEs and training and competing.
“Her mum and I are both really proud of what she has achieved this year. She got four As, three Bs and two Cs in her GCSEs. Throughout her studying, she stayed dedicated to her training and would get up early to train in the morning before doing revision.”
Paul, who also trains Lauren added: “I am a firm believer in the ‘healthy body, healthy mind’ school of thought and would encourage as many young people to get involved in sport.
“Lauren is currently training with Ballymena and Antrim Athletics Club, Larne Swimming Club and cycling with myself. If she keeps going the way she is going then I can’t see any reason why she can’t meet her aspirations of becoming a high performance athlete.”
Paul would like to thank Lauren’s school, Dominican College, who he said have been very supportive of her athletics commitments.