A young volunteer with the Craigavon Cowboys American football team has been honoured for his contribution to local sport at the 2018 Sport Northern Ireland SportMaker Awards.
24-year old Jordan Buchanan was named Young Volunteer of the Year. Jordan took on the role of Club President at Craigavon Cowboys at just 22 years of age and has since dedicated his time, outside of his full-time job, to developing the club and the sport locally.
Jordan, who also captains the side on the field, has led the way in the Cowboys’ work towards achieving Sport NI’s Clubmark NI accreditation. This has seen Jordan take many significant steps to build the club, from drafting new policies to creating a development plan and launching an Associate Membership scheme to help more people get involved with the team.
The reputation Jordan has built has also resulted in him being recuited by the sport’s governing body to take on an interim role as Co-Director of Youth.
Sport NI’s SportMaker Awards recognise the contribution of the local sporting working – the coaches, officials, volunteers and projects making a difference. The Young Volunteer of the Year award recognises individuals who have dedicated substantial amount of time to volunteer in sport, and who have made a positive and significant impact.
The award was presented to Jordan by Alan Curran, Performance Systems Manager at Sport NI, and Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Deputy Lord Mayor Paul Duffy at Portadown People’s Park on Sunday 25th November.
Congratulating Jordan on his success, Sport NI Chief Executive Antoinette McKeown said:
“I am delighted to be recognising Jordan’s fantastic work through this award. Volunteers are at the absolute heart of making sport happen day in, day out, across Northern Ireland. Jordan’s work with the Craigavon Cowboys, and the sport of American football more generally, demonstrates an obvious passion for the sport and willingness to devote very significant amounts of his time, energy and talent to helping the club grow. Moreover, he is playing a very active role in helping more people to enjoy and egage with the sport. He has shown real leadership as a SportMaker and is an inspiring reminder of the impact sports volunteers can make. On behalf of Sport NI, I would like to congratulate Jordan on his Young Coach of the Year award and wish him continued success in the future.”
Reacting to his win, Jordan Buchanan said:
“It feels absolutely terrific. Often people involved in sport think that winning is everything but what really drives me as a volunteer is the impact that you can make on people’s lives and on their health and well-being … it’s a lot more than what you can see on the pitch. So it’s really great that all the hard work has been recognised and is appreciated.”
Mark Beattie, a fellow club member who nominated Jordan for his award, added:
“Jordan has been a massive inspiration over the past few years, and in particular this past year. His unwavering dedication to the club and at national and governing body level at such a young age has really driven others within the club to push themselves and, as a result of this, encouraged many from outside the club to become active members. The Craigavon Cowboys would not be where we are without the hard work and immense time that Jordan has put in. He is a true role model for young and old alike within our club and It’s simply incredible the amount of time that he dedicates.”