A special Olympic Torch event will take place in Ballygally on Saturday June 2 from 11am–5pm.
Guests of honour are Olympic torchbearers Trevor Ringland (former Ulster, Ireland and British and Irish Lions winger) and Dianne McMillan (Paralympian swimming double gold medallist).
The event will unite the community in true Olympic spirit ahead of the Torch Relay which passes through the village the following afternoon].
Trevor represented Ireland 31 times winning the Triple Crown in 1982 and 1985. He is now a partner in a solicitors’ firm, but continues his interest in sport, particularly its role in bringing Protestant and Catholic young people together through the organisation Peace Players International.
The family fun day begins with a beach–clean at 11am, followed by a barbecue at 12.30pm. At 1.30pm Trevor, together with Ronan O’Donnell [GAA coach from Genravel] and David McClelland [Glentoran Goalkeeping coach] will be organising a “Game of 3 Halves” on Ballygally beach – enabling young people to play Football, Gaelic Football and Rugby in turn.
Trevor will then be sharing his faith story at a special Afternoon Tea Party in the new Ballygally Hall at 3.30pm, before returning on Sunday to carry the Olympic torch in Larne.
Ballygally resident Dianne – who will also be a torchbearer on Sunday in Carnlough – will be talking about her sporting achievements, as well as showing off her medals. A below–the–knee amputee, she became Northern Ireland’s first ever Paralympian medallist winning swimming gold in the 4×100 freestyle and 4×100 medley relays, plus silver and two bronze at the 1988 Seoul games. .
Organised jointly by the four Churches of Cairncastle/Ballygally (Church of Ireland, Presbyterian, Non–Subscribing Presbyterian & Roman Catholic) in partnership with the Ballygally & Cairncastle Community Associations, the family fun day is a unique opportunity for everyone to join together in celebrating this very special weekend.
Co–organiser Roger Thompson, Rector of St Patrick’s, Cairncastle with All Saints’ Craigyhill, said: “The torch relay is a once–in–a–lifetime opportunity for the churches to work in partnership with each other and the local community, sharing in the celebrations and shining out the light of Jesus”.