Storey praises Olympic heroes

NORTH Antrim DUP MLA Mervyn Storey has joined others in praising the achievements of Coleraine rowers Richard and Peter Chambers and Alan Campbell in winning silver and bronze medals with the British rowing squad.

“It has been wonderful to watch and agonisingly tense. Our three local heroes have made a significant contribution to the GB Rowing Team and Team GB being part of the most successful Olympic Rowing team Britain has ever produced.”

Mr Storey said that they had helped to firmly place the River Bann on the sporting map and called for tangible recognition of the efforts being taken to continue to produce successful rowers both in Coleraine and the other waterways of Northern Ireland.

“Richard, Peter and Alan have raised the mark for our local water sports and show what can be done by individuals with talent and determination. It is no fluke of chance that the three who are members of the Bann Rowing Club have gone so far.

“I am aware that others from the Bann have represented Ireland at Junior international level in Wales at the Home International Rowing Championships and at the Coupe de la Jeunesse in Barcelona and Joel Cassells and Christopher Black are currently preparing in Cork to represent Ireland at the Junior World championships in Bulgaria in a week’s time. I wish them success.”

Mervyn Storey called for tangible support from the Minister of Culture and Leisure to inject funding into structured talent spotting programmes and on the Minister of Education to ensure that sport was given a higher profile in his education strategy.

“We should not waste this opportunity to strengthen and develop our home grown talent.”