Ards Blair Mayne Bursary Awards
The Blair Mayne Bursary Awards ceremony took place in Ards Arts Centre on 18 March, with three local young people becoming the latest recipients of a bursary award.
Bangor’s Casey Walsh, Newtownards’ Lucy Magill and Donaghadee’s Bryn Moore were all recognised by Ards and North Down Borough Council as they each received £500 to help them with their respective endeavours in sport, academic study and adventure training.
The Bursary Awards were originally created in 1997 after a public appeal to raise funds for commissioning a bronze memorial statue of Colonel Mayne. Monies raised exceeded the amount required for the statue, which was subsequently installed in Newtownards’ Conway Square, so the Council opted to use the surplus funds to establish the Blair Mayne Bursary.
The Mayor of Ards and North Down, Councillor Mark Brooks, said:
“The Blair Mayne Bursary Award Scheme was created to support individuals aged 25 or under to aspire to excellence in sport, academic study and adventure training. Congratulations must go to very worthy recipients, Casey Walsh, Lucy Magill and Bryn Moore. The calibre of applications was exceedingly high and they are deserving winners of the awards. I wish them every success with their future projects and endeavours.”
The Blair Mayne Bursary Subcommittee, which consists of four elected members and three external representatives, had a challenging job to select the winners after a total of 35 applications were received. The Subcommittee includes Alderman Jimmy Menagh, who has been Chairman of the Bursary since 2019.
Alderman Menagh was involved in the creation of the Bursary and has also been instrumental in its sustainability through his personal sponsorship programmes that have supported the initiative. He was disappointed to be unable to attend this year’s ceremony but sent his best wishes to each of the winners.
Winner: Casey Walsh (Sport)
Bangor’s Casey Walsh was 11-years-old when he started boxing after the loss of his father. During what was a difficult time for him and his family, a chance meeting between his mum and a boxing coach changed his future. He joined a boxing club and has since secured multiple successes in the ring. They include winning the Armagh and Down 46kg category, winning gold at the Limassol Box Cup in Cyprus, representing Antrim in 2021 to win the Antrim Open 57kg, and he recently qualified for the All Ireland Championships. He has also been successful in gaining a place at the Met Boxing Academy in Belfast.
Winner: Lucy Magill (Academic Study)
Lucy Magill is a fourth-year Veterinary Medicine student at The Royal School of Veterinary Studies in Edinburgh. She has recently been selected for a trip to South Africa in July 2022 to attend the 'Vets Go Wild' course, which provides a unique opportunity for a handful of selected students from around the world to work with African wildlife alongside a specialist veterinary team. The course will offer her the opportunity to deepen her knowledge and understanding of conservation as well as provide intensive theoretical and practical training, combining disciplines of veterinary medicine, conservation field training and wildlife management. Her parents, Francine and Robert Magill, are pictured here receiving the award for Academic Studies on her behalf.
Winner: Bryn Moore (Adventure Training)
Donaghadee’s Bryn Moore is a member of Thunder Bird Explorers in Bangor West. He is 15-years-old, plays rugby and enjoys many outdoor activities. As part of his adventure training, he has qualified as a PADI Open Water Diver and is also a badminton coach for Greenwell Street Badminton Club in Newtownards. Bryn has recently been successful in gaining selection for the 25th World Scout Jamboree which is being held in South Korea in August 2023, from a selection of 200 boys and girls aged 14 to 17. He is delighted to have the opportunity to represent Northern Ireland and the Borough of Ards and North Down in the World Jamboree.