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Cricket gets high profile at annual Newtownabbey Sports Awards
The Awards, compered by local TV and radio personality Jim Neilly, were attended by more than 300 guests. The gala evening showcased the best sporting talent in the Borough, and celebrated the efforts of those who contribute off the field.
The conclusion of the evening saw ex-Irish international Kyle McCallan inducted into the Newtownabbey Sporting Hall of Fame to join other sporting personalities such as Willie John McBride, Denis McBride, Jimmy Nichol, Alan McDonald, Tommy Wright, Jim Baker and Paddy Hopkirk.
This was an opportunity for Kyle's local community to show their appreciation for his efforts over the years, as the Sporting Hall of Fame was established to honour outstanding persons, who have gained prominence and have made substantial contributions on behalf of themselves and Newtownabbey through sport.
Kyle, who was capped a record 226 times by Ireland and captained on 54 occasions, was also awarded an MBE in 2010. The former Ballyclare High School and Cliftonville all-rounder took the opportunity in his interview with Jim Neilly to explain how the game is progressing quickly across the country and alluded to key wins for Ireland against Pakistan and England in recent World Cup Finals, which have been key in driving the profile of the sport forwards. He thanked those who had encouraged him in his early sporting years and fielded some questions posed by the audience.
Another cricket winner on the night was Templepatrick Cricket Club’s Chairman, Duncan Elder who received the Services to Sport Award. Duncan has been Chairman of Templepatrick Cricket Club for the last 14 years and throughout this time, the club has progressed from a small club to now being recognised as one of the healthiest cricket clubs around.
"Over recent years Templepatrick Cricket Club has enjoyed many developments and successes and obviously Duncan as Chairman has had a key part to play in all these," said the club's CDO, Andy McCrea.
Another winner on the night with a cricket connection was Irish hockey star, John Jackson.
Another person proving young athletes can be successful at multi sports was Templepatrick CC’s Under 15 fast bowler Jack Magee. The Irish Under 17 Javelin champion made the final three in the Young Sportsperson of the Year category.
This great night for cricket follows last year's equally successful evening when Paul Stirling won Adult Sportsperson of the Year, Templepatrick Cricket Club won Club of the Year and Templepatrick CC’s
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