Tyrone stars heading off to Commonwealth Games.

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Tyrone stars heading off to Commonwealth Games. thumbnail Stewartstown native Ian Sloan, formerly of Cookstown Hockey Club, will captain Englandís menís hockey team at the Commonwealth Games.

Sports stars from throughout Mid-Ulster are on their way to the Commonwealth Games.

The Games will be held on Australia's Gold Coast and run from 4th to 15th April.

Among the Northern Ireland team is Dungannon swimmer Calum Bain, Magherafelt long jumper Luke McMullen and Clogher table tennis star Ashley Robinson.

And a familiar face to everyone in Mid-Ulster will be playing a prominent role in the England team.

Former Cookstown High School and Cookstown Hockey Club star Ian Sloan has been named captain for the England hockey side.

His former club has passed on its congratulations to the 25-year-old.

A spokesperson said: "This is an amazing achievement for someone so young. Well done and good luck from everyone at your hometown club!"

Another Cookstown old boy who switched allegiance to England, David Ames, has unfortunately been unable to recover in team to be named in the squad for the Games.

He has been suffering from a knee injury and, although back running, he is not yet ready for the demands of the competition.

Calum Bain, a third year accountancy student at Stirling University trains at the National Swimming Academy, based at Scotland's University for Sporting Excellence.

Speaking about the Games, Calum said: "To be selected was great. It is the only real opportunity to represent Northern Ireland in swimming, so I am really excited.

"It is the biggest competition of my life so far - I just want to get out there, feel the atmosphere, and race under those conditions. Hopefully I'll enjoy it."

Magherafelt long jumper Luke McMullen, a former Irish Under 23 Champion, is eager to make a big impact this summer.

Setting his targets high, he said: "I would like to make the final and be competitive in the final. It's all dependent on athlete form but I don't see why I wouldn't be a contender for top eight or higher.

He has a personal best jump of 7.99 metres and previously competed in the European Indoor Championships in 2015.

Clogher table tennis ace Ashley Robinson will be competing at his second Commonwealth Games, having taken part in the Glasgow games in 2014.

He also competed at the World Championships in Suzhou, China, the following year.

Ashley has been based in Sweden for the past few years and is looking forward to making an even bigger impression in his second Commonwealth Games.

He said: "I played in the Glasgow games in 2014, and it was the first multi-sport competition I'd been to. It was brilliant to get experience of those surroundings. Hopefully that experience will keep me in good stead and we can get better results.

"Ever since the last games, the goal has been to get to the next one and try and push on."


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