A young volunteer with Ballysillan Gymnastics Club has been honoured for her contribution to local sport at the 2019 Sport Northern Ireland SportMaker Awards.

Lucy Wallace, who volunteers as a young leader, was named Volunteer of the Year for her outstanding contribution to the development of sport. Having recently won the Diana Award in 2018 for services to volunteering, Lucy received an invitation directly from Earl Spence and had the opportunity of visiting Althorp House, the childhood home of Princess Diana.

Volunteering since the age of 14, Lucy has built up a reputation for high standards, winning the ‘Colin Cup’, the Ballysillan Club’s highest accolade for outstanding achievement, the British Gymnastics NI Young Yolunteer of the Year 2019 and recently attaining her Level 1 Acrobatic Gymnastics Coaching Award.

Jean Ferris, from Ballysillan Gymnastics Club, who nominated Lucy stated:

“Lucy is an exceptional young volunteer who dedicates a lot to the sport of Gymnastics, which is why she is deserving of this award. Always the first into the gym and last to leave every Saturday, Lucy commits a huge amount of time helping to coach and encourage our younger gymnasts and is also a brilliant help to the club outside of the gym, by assisting with bag packs and co-ordinating fundraising events.”

Sport NI’s SportMaker Awards recognise outstanding achievements by Northern Ireland’s sporting workforce. The Young Volunteer of the Year title is awarded to individuals who demonstrate outstanding contribution to the development of sport. It was presented to Lucy Wallace by David Smyth, Coaching Consultant at Sport NI at the Ballysillan Gymnastics Club.

Congratulating Lucy on her award, Sport NI Chief Executive Antoinette McKeown added:

“The role that volunteers play in making sport happen in Northern Ireland cannot be overestimated. Every day, these individuals dedicate their time and energy to helping others enjoy, engage and benefit from the power of sport. All too often this can go unnoticed, and that’s why, through the SportMaker Awards, Sport NI wants to shine a spotlight on the impact people like Lucy are having in sports clubs and organisations throughout Northern Ireland.”

“Lucy has played a vital role in supporting both participants and other members of the sporting workforce to access, participate and develop in Gymnastics. Her passion for sport is really inspiring and Emma’s infectious ambition surely will encourage others to consider a similar career path so we are delighted to be presenting her with the award for Young Volunteer of the Year. On behalf of Sport NI, I would like to congratulate Lucy and hope she continues to play such a positive and important role as a SportMaker.”

Lucy Wallace 1