Five of Northern Ireland’s top young athletes, including Newtownabbey’s Conor Ferguson, were recently granted the chance to speak to leading experts in the sports industry at the Dale Farm Athletes’ Academy Masterclass at Kingspan Stadium.
In partnership with the Mary Peters Trust, this year’s Dale Farm Athletes – Sam Bothwell (tennis), Ferguson (swimming), Ben Fisher (athletics), Liam Glynn (sailing) and Brendan Irvine (boxing) – enjoyed one-on-one guidance to help them progress in their sports career.
Ulster Rugby star Dan Tuohy was among the local experts who provided advice and shared with the athletes what it means to be a professional sports star. Sports nutritionist Dr Sharon Madigan talked about the importance of eating well and sports psychologist Dr Mark Elliott spoke about maintaining mental toughness. Sports journalist Jim Gracey gave his tips on dealing with the media.
The Dale Farm Athletes’ Academy Masterclass is one of the benefits provided to the five athletes selected through a competitive process to join the Dale Farm Athletes’ Academy each year.
In addition to attending the masterclass, the athletes also receive a £1,000 bursary to assist them with the costs of being an elite athlete, such as buying equipment and traveling to competitions abroad.
Dame Mary Peters, President of the Mary Peters Trust, said: “The masterclass is a great opportunity for young athletes as many will never get the chance to sit down at the start of their career one-on-one with experts like the mentors we have today. We are grateful for Dale Farm’s support.”