Dame Mary Peters is making tracks for the village of Dervock where she is performing special duties on Saturday 23rd July at this years village festival.
The popular Olympian will unveil a Ulster History Circle commemorative plaque as a lasting legacy to Kennedy Kane McArthur, the villages famous son who won a gold medal in the marathon at the Stockholm Olympics in 1912. She will also start the 2011 McArthur half marathon, and officially start the countdown process for the year leading up to July 2012 and the special events planned for Dervock.
Speaking ahead of the village festival Frankie Cunningham, Chairperson commented: “The ‘Festival’ has become an important method of promoting the village, its complexities, and its diverse culture and history. As in previous years we are concentrating on the Ulster/Scots – Irish component that is reflective of the composition of the entire community through dance and music. The annual KK McArthur Half Marathon and the 10k run within the ‘Civic Festival’ continues to promote inclusiveness through sport and establishes old friendships.
“We in Dervock are delighted the village has acquired Olympic recognition for this year’s 2011 half marathon, granting the event Olympic branding, as part of the London Olympic Committee (LOCOG) Open weekend spanning Friday 22nd July - Saturday 23rd July 2011”.
The plaque is supported by Ballymoney Borough Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Chris Spurr, Chairman of the Ulster History Circle explained: “‘Big Ken’ McArthur is a real local hero, and as we approach the centenary of his Olympic victory, the Ulster History Circle is delighted to commemorate his exceptional achievements with this plaque. The Circle is especially honoured that Dame Mary Peters is to unveil the plaque to her fellow Olympian gold medallist.”
Cllr Ian Stevenson, Mayor of Ballymoney Borough Council continued: “We are proud of our famous sons and I am delighted that the outstanding sporting achievement of Dervock born Kennedy Kane McArthur is being so suitably recognized on the centenary of his Gold Medal win at the 1912 Olympic Games.”
Ronnie Spence, Chair of the HLF Northern Ireland Committee, added: “We are delighted to support the unveiling of this Blue Plaque to acknowledge the achievements of Dervock born Olympian and Gold medallist, Kennedy Kane McArthur. It is a fantastic way to honour this local athlete whose sporting successes impacted upon the world stage and continue to inspire today.”
The Civic Festival, which is supported by Ballymoney Borough Council, through its Community Festival Fund, has a range of events for all ages on Friday evening 22nd July and Saturday 23rd July with events commencing at 12 noon.
Check out the full events programme on www.dervock.org.uk or www.visitballymoney.com.
Programme at a glance:
Friday, July 22
6.45pm - Fancy Dress Parade around village - Starts at the Orange Hall
7.30pm – Childrens Party - Buddy the Clown - Mandos @ The North Irish Horse Inn Complex
8.15pm – Junior Miss Dervock 2011 & Disco - Mandos @ The North Irish Horse Inn Complex
Saturday, July 23
12noon – The Bann Wheelers Bike Race - Knock Rd, Dervock (Fane Valley Store)
12noon - Pet Show - Recreational Grounds (Paddys Park)
1.00pm - Dame Mary Peters unveils plaque (Ulster History Circle) - Market House, Dervock
1.00pm - Royal British Legion & Tombola - Recreational Grounds (Paddys Park)
1.30pm - Bouncy Castles, Bungee Run etc - Recreational Grounds (Paddys Park)
2.00pm – Mr. John Watt (Compere) - Recreational Grounds (Paddys Park)
2.00pm – BBQ (Tea, Coffee & Sandwiches) - Recreational Grounds (Paddys Park)
2.00pm – Ulster/Scots Performers - Recreational Grounds (Paddys Park)
2.00pm – Irish Dancers - Recreational Grounds (Paddys Park)
2.00pm – KK McArthur Half Marathon Started by Dame Mary Peters - Castlecatt Rd, Dervock
2.00pm – 10K ‘Smak’ Run - Recreational Grounds, Dervock
2.15pm – 1K ‘ET International’ Run - Castlecatt Rd, Dervock
2.00pm – Face Painting - Recreational Grounds (Paddys Park)
2.00pm – Car Boot Sale - Recreational Grounds (Paddys Park)
2.30pm – 5 a-side Football - Recreational Grounds (Paddys Park)
4.30pm – Duck Race - The ‘Brig’ doon in the village