Causeway hosted at Stormont

LAST Thursday evening the locally based Causeway Giants Olympic Freestyle Wrestling Club from Ballymoney were invited to attend a reception in Parliament Buildings at Stormont hosted by Nelson McCausland MLA the Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure.

The Giants' outstanding successes in wrestling circles both here and on the mainland have astounded many of the sporting fraternity and the interest shown by scores of the other sporting personalities at the event was amazing.

In under a year and a half the Causeway Giants have taken a number of major titles throughout 2010.

Steven Phillips, Chairman of the Giants, said: "When I started the Causeway Giants back in October 2009 I never thought we would achieve so much so soon, but as soon as Alan Ashcroft - our Chief Coach - came on board there was no holding the young athletes back."

Alan has transferred his enormous skills as one of Northern Ireland's top coaches in Judo to the Freestyle Wrestling disciplines.

In the recent British Championships Kurtis Ashcroft and Cameron Ashcroft became British Champions with team mate Connor Phillips taking the silver medal and second position in the British ranking system.

It was a great surprise to the British selectors who now have to consider where to fit the boys in so as to become part of the Great Britain Team which as champions is their right.

The evening was attended by a number of Northern Ireland's top sporting stars and the boys from the club spent a lot of time chatting to Paddy Barnes the Commonwealth Games gold medal winning boxer.

"It was great to see Ballymoney represented at such a prestigious event by these young citizens and nice to be part of what was described by the Minister as a celebration of outstanding sporting achievements," added Steven.