Athletes benefit from Mary Peters Trust podium scheme

At the Mary Peters Trust Podium Programme event are fencer Rosie McGonagle, Eilish Rutherford, (chair of the Mary Peters Trust), tennis player Dylan Leeman, Stephen Patton (human resources manager at George Best Belfast City Airport) and tennis player Jessica Leeman

OVER 30 sportsmen and women have benefitted from an £18,000 funding boost from the Mary Peters Trust Podium Programme, funded by George Best Belfast City Airport.

The funding was announced at a recent Podium Programme event which provided the athletes, their parents and coaches with the opportunity to enhance their sporting career by learning from industry experts.

Held bi-annually, the podium programme event included seminars in health, communicating with the media, managing their online presence, nutrition and strength and conditioning.

The Mary Peters Trust Podium Programme was funded by George Best Belfast City Airport's community fund, an initiative which has invested more than £200,000 into local projects aiming to strengthen community relations, sport, education, environmental responsibility and social development.

Eilish Rutherford, chair of the Mary Peters Trust, said: "It is a pleasure for the Mary Peters Trust to be able to support these up-and-coming athletes.

`"For many athletes, competing professionally would not be an option for them without the financial aid they receive through the trust.

"I am delighted that we can present financial awards to these young people based on their skills, commitment and achievements, helping them to reach their full sporting potential.

``Financial funding is crucial to the athletes, however we also want to further enhance the support and guidance we offer through the guest seminars at our Podium Programme.

"These seminars allow athletes to hear from experts and consider how their training habits, nutrition and social media behaviour can be managed."

Stephen Patton, Human Resources Manager at George Best Belfast City Airport, said: "We recognise the positive impact sport has on young people, and look forward to seeing all the incredible athletes we have met through the Trust reach their goals and become the next generation of sports ambassadors for Northern Ireland, like Rory McIlroy and Carl Frampton before them.''

For more information on how your school, group or project can apply to the Belfast City Airport Community Fund, contact:

For further information on Mary Peters Trust, visit


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