Charity Provides Aspiring Athletes with a Boost of £18,000

Date Posted: December 15th 2015

Over 30 local sportsmen and women have benefitted from an £18,000 funding boost from the Mary Peters Trust Podium Programme.

The funding was announced at a recent Podium Programme event, supported by George Best Belfast City Airport, 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.

Attendees heard from Tom Crick, Director of Coaching and Athletic Development at Athletics NI, Jim Gracey, Group Sports Editor of Belfast Telegraph, Stephen Patton, Human Resources Manager at George Best Belfast City Airport, and Carly Rodgers, Digital Communications Manager at George Best Belfast City Airport.
The Mary Peters Trust Podium Programme was funded by the airport’s Community Fund, a unique CR 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, Chairman 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.
“We would like to extend a massive thanks to Belfast City Airport for its support with the Podium Programme and the help it gives to young athletes across Northern Ireland.”

Stephen Patton, Human Resources Manager at George Best Belfast City Airport, said:
“Everyone at Belfast City Airport is committed to making a positive impact in the local community and on the development of young people in Northern Ireland.
“Through our Community Fund, we aim to benefit the lives of local people in Northern Ireland and we are delighted to support the Mary Peters Trust Podium Programme.
“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, please contact:
For further information on Mary Peters Trust, please visit