Awards Dinner

Monday, December 3, 2012
Ballymena Road Club Awards Dinner took place on Friday 30th November. The evening was hosted by Club Chairman Andrew Wills. Andrew introduced club vice president John Maxwell who welcomed the special guests and reminded everyone that while they were all attending a cycling club dinner, at a rugby club, it had been three days since Ballymena United had won a trophy. He also added that four days ago it had been 23 years since Ballymena United had won a trophy and congratulated the "sky blues”Guest of honour was Andrew Hassard a "Category manager” at new sponsors Chain Reaction Cycles. Andrew distributed the awards to all the recipients. Andrew, from Ballyclare, is no stranger to physical endurance having fought through fatigue, with an iron will, to complete an amazing mammoth triathlon each day for ten days in aid of Cancer Focus Northern Ireland, the new name for the Ulster Cancer Foundation.The grueling Decaman triathlon took place at Eskragh Lough, Dungannon, from 6th – 15th July 2012 and included completing ten "Ironman” triathlons in ten days. Each triathlon involves a 2.5 miles swim, 112 miles cycle ride and 26 miles marathon distance run.Andrew swam a total of 24 miles (further than the English Channel), cycled 1,120 miles (four times the length of Ireland) and ran 262 miles (or ten Belfast marathons) all in 10 days, to become one of less than seventy athletes worldwide to have completed this challenge.Andrew, who has always been keen on sports, said: "I was expecting it to be an absolute buster, and it was. One of the toughest parts was going round and round the same circuits, knowing it had to be done again the next day. It did get a bit monotonous. After that it was a matter of mind over matter to keep on going. I can’t quite believe we did it! We had to be up and in the lake at 7am or we would be disqualified. There were days when they were only getting two hours sleep,” he said."I was a bit sore and swollen for a few days after the event and all I wanted to do was sleep, but I got over it. The sense of achievement is amazing and it is still sinking in. The event was sponsored by, amongst others, Chain Reaction Cycles.
Also present were Keith Wood, Sales Director, Northstone NI, who marked their 30th year of sponsorship with BRC during 2012. Northstone backed the club race series this year and also have their name and logo on the sides of the new kit.Other special guests included club President Alan Mark and his wife Mary.Vice President Gordon Caldwell and his wife Nora. NICF President Morris Foster MBE.George and Joan Graham of Graham’s kitchens Woodgreen. Sponsors. John and Margaret Maxwell of Maxwell Packaging. Alan and Carol Blair of Blair International Transport and John and Maggie Blair of JBE Building services.The local press were also represented with Shaun O’Neill of the Ballymena Guardian and Stephen Alexander of the Times both in attendance.This is the highlight of the club’s social season and represented an opportunity, not only to present the perpetual trophies and honour their recipients, but also to acknowledge the support and assistance, both financial and in kind, of all the above generous backers.
Clifford Grant, is the Ballymena Road Club – Chain Reaction Cycles – club member of the year for 2012. Clifford received the "Friendship cup” at last Friday evening’s annual prize presentation dinner and dance at Eaton Park, which was attended by 128 club members their families and invited guests.Clifford was nominated for the award in recognition for his tireless and diligent work undertaken while finalising the design and compiling orders and then distributing the club’s new blue and white club colours.