Lord Mayor, Councillor Nichola Mallon is hoping Commonwealth Games hopefuls will bounce to success after receiving funding from Belfast City Council’s Support for Sport Scheme.
Nine members of Northern Ireland’s Netball Squad received the backing in the run up to the games in Glasgow later this month.
They and other athletes who received the funding enjoyed a send off reception with Councillor Mallon in her parlour during which she said the city was rooting for their success.
“You are all great ambassadors for Belfast and we are 100 per cent behind you all. I know all of you have worked hard to reach this goal and I hope you achieve the success you deserve,” she said.
“Our Support for Sport funding is meant to help you bridge the gap between your hopes, ambition and the daily grind of training while trying to cover coaching and other expenses.
“Each of you is an inspiration particularly to those younger people who are taking their first steps into sport, and it is great that we as a council have been able to help you on your way. Good luck!” added the Lord Mayor.
The Games are hugely significant for the NI netball team as they make their debut on the Commonwealth stage having reached a credible 11th place in the world ranking.
Medal hopes include Olympic medallists Michael Conlon and Paddy Barnes and Belfast Judoka Lisa Kearney. For the first time female boxing is included in the Games in Glasgow and hopes are high for local boxers, Michaela Walsh and Alanna Audley-Murphy.
Chef de Mission, Robert McVeigh said: “We’re delighted to be taking our largest ever team to Glasgow, in what is essentially a home Games for Northern Ireland. We have a great mix of youth and experience which is drawn from all parts of Northern Ireland and from all sections of the community.”