Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Surprise Surprise!


I recently visited Newtownbreda High School and spoke at their Assembly.  It was great to meet a few of the teachers and chat with some of the pupils afterwards.  One of the teachers was both shocked and surprised to see me sitting on the Assembly platform when she entered the room!  The teacher in question is my best friend and the school kindly agreed to keep my visit a secret in order to surprise her!!!  Well done to Newtownbreda High School for their ongoing achievements and for the very generous donation which they gave to  my Concern  Worldwide, Mother and Child Survival Project in Burundi.

I also visited Drumlins Integrated Primary School in Ballynahinch.  I met with the P6 and P7 classes and the children interviewed me.  It was great fun and I really enjoyed answering their questions and was impressed by the research which they had done on myself.  I’d like to wish Drumlins IPS every success for the future and many thanks for their donation to my charity Waddle.

Just before the Easter holidays, I spoke at the Waterford Chamber of Commerce Business Event in the beautiful town of Waterford, Ireland.  The event was a great success and it was good to meet and chat with many of the delegates afterwards.  As the famous Waterford Crystal Factory was just literally around the corner from the hotel, I went along with two friends to do the visitors tour.  I had a smashing time!  It was absolutely fascinateing to see the whole process of how the crystal is made.  The friendly staff could not have been more  accommadateing and helpful, especially with myself.  I was able to hold and feel many of the pieces and they were not a bit upset when I dropped a large fruit bowl, smashing it to smitherines, oops!!!  Well, actually, the tour guide asked me to smash it!!!  Waterford Crystal only produce perfect pieces and anything with a slight imperfection is broken down and recycled!  I think they must have the best stress management  programme in all of Ireland!  Lol.  My sincerest thanks to the staff and craftsmen and continued success  for the future.  

Monday, 4 February 2013

Time Flies!


2012 ended very quietly for me, as I had another round of surgery just before Christmas!  I’m well on the mend now and have started slowly back into things.

On Mon 14th Jan, I attended the Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards.  It was a great event and fabulous to see so many of our Sports stars receive richly deserved recognition.

On Tues 15th Jan I went along to a terrific event at lisburn Leisure Plex.  As Freeman of the City, I was both delighted and very proud to see Lisburn announced as 2013 European City of Sport!  Lisburn is the first City in the UK and Ireland to receive such a prestigious honor and I’m looking forward to attending many planned upcoming events.

On Thurs 17th Jan, I went to visit and speak to 1st Kilbride Guide Troup in Ballyclare.  I had a great night meeting and chatting with many of the girls and I was thrilled when they presented me with a cheque for £120 for the lady Taverners!  The Guides had done the fund raising themselves for my charity, so I’d like to say a very big ‘thank you and well done!’ to 1st Kilbride Guides and their leaders!

The exciting news is that, I have recently become an Ambassador for the Management Leadership Network!

The Management Leadership Network (MLN), is run by Podiem(People & Organisation Development…Integration…Event Management)   MLN is a not for profit entity designed to inspire Management and Leadership within n.I..

I was delighted to be invited to become an Ambassador for MLN and I have just recorded my first MLN Ambassador Video Article which you can view at:

The courses and eventsrun by MLN are a valuable asset to the business community and at a recent event, I enjoyed meeting and listening to Mr. Sean Gallagher, Business Icon and runner up in the Irish Presidential Election!
Link:  www.mln.org.uk

I did a Mentoring Course last Nov and am now mentoring paralympic athletes on a voluntary bases!  It’s agood challenge for me and it’s great to be able to help some of our young up and coming athletes!  
Well, it’s time now to get back into the gym and the pool to get the fitness up for the upcoming ski season, so I’d better go and hoke out my trainers!   

Wishing you all a very happy healthy and successful 2013!

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Setting Belfast on Fire!



It’s been a hectic few weeks!!!

On the 5th Aug, I went off to Superdrive NI in Portadown with a group of blind friends to do some rally driving!  Seriously!…..Former Rally driver, Jim Crosier, took each of us around the track calling out directions!  I kept her lit, had the car sideways at one point and even managed to send a few tyres flying into the air!  It was a terrific experience, although Jim may not agree, lol!  Take a look at the video footage on my FaceBook page!

The following week-end I went off to Edinburgh with hubby Paul and friends from the Ferrari Owners Club, Ireland.  Ever the speed demon…..although you will be relieved to hear that it was Paul who was driving this time!  Lol.  The Scottish club had a lot of things organised for us, including an open top bus ride, a tour on board the Royal Yacht Britania, a visit to Edradour, the oldest whiskey distillery in Scotland, finishing with the large Festival of Speed on the Sunday.  We covered over 500 miles and it was a fab week-end!

My friend Jill and I are like the birthday twins, as we share birthdays only a few days apart, so as a special birthday treat, our hubbies organised a wee break away to the beautiful island of Malta!  It was a fabulous surprise and it was good to feel the lovely warmth of the sunshine on our faces, as Malta experienced it’s hottest weather in over 100 years!!!

On 25th Aug, I was delighted and very honoured to be a Flame Ambassador for Lisburn City in the run up to the Paralympic Games.  The Paralympic Cauldron was lit very early on a soggy Saturday  morning by DSNI Chairman, angela Hendra MBE in the grounds of Stormont Castle, Belfast.  The Flame Ambassadors then had their lamps lit from the Cauldron and were then responsible for transporting the Flame to their respective Councils for further celebrations.

I was thrilled to be nominated to carry the Paralympic Torch as part of the Flame Festival on Saturday evening in Belfast.  We paraded from the Waterfront Hall to Belfast’s beautiful City Hall, where I then had the wonderful honour and privilege of lighting the Paralympic Cauldron on stage.  As part of the Flame Festival, there were various sporting activities going on and a concert with XFactor star, Joe McEldry and other artists performing.  The weather was kind, the streets were lined with people and Belfast was buzzing, as I carried the Flame onto the stage to lite the Paralympic Cauldron!!!  With help from hubby Paul’s guiding hand, I lit the Cauldron and thankfully, not the stage!!!  Lol.

The atmosphere was electric and it was a very emotional moment and one which I will treasure forever!  It made me very proud to be from Northern Ireland!  My sincerest thanks to DCAL and DSNI for nominating me.  

Here I am being interviewed by the BBC:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-19392536

There are 8 athletes from NI taking part in the Paralympics and I would like to wish them all, every success and the very best of luck for the 2012 Games! 

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Rocketing into the 21st Century!



After many frustrations and on going injuries, I’ve just started back on the water!  The dreadful weather conditions have hampered training, so at least I haven’t missed much of the season!  I’m looking forward to an intensive training camp with coach Steve Critchley over the next two weeks in preparation for the 2012 European Championships.
  
My friend and manager, Ruth Ellis from Rel.Events has dragged me kicking and screaming into the 21st century and got me on FaceBook!  It’s very exciting and we hope to follow up soon with Twitter!   Oh boy, I’ve got a lot to learn! Lol.

It’s been a hectic few months and I’ve really enjoyed the Jubilee Celebration events and now we are on the count down to the 2012 London Olympics and Paralympics!  Although water skiing is not an Olympic event, I will be following the media coverage with a keen interest. 

If you would like to follow my FaceBook profile, click on the link, log on and 'LIKE' my page.


Should you wish to contact me regarding coming to speak at your event, then please contact my manager, Ruth, through any of the mediums below.

Email: rel.events@hotmail.com
Office: 02895608489
Mobile: 07771356853
FaceBook Search: Rel.Events


Saturday, 30 June 2012

On yer bike! Sign Up Now... please.


A few months ago, I was invited to join lots of cyclists in the New Life Cycle Challenge to promote organ donation.  I was thrilled, but thought I’d better get on my bike!!!

I saddled up on the tandem with our Health Minister, Edwin Poots, who started the challenge at the Royal Hospital, for Sick Children on Saturday morning.  Minister Poots and I cycled from the City Hospital to Lagan Valley Hospital in Lisburn, where all the cyclists were warmly welcomed and after some well deserved lunch, various speakers, including myself said a few words on the importance of signing the Donar Register.



The challenge will travel around the Province over the next 6 days, visiting all the hospitals, so watch out and cheer on all the transplant recipients and their friends and families!

The most precious gift we can ever give…..is life!!!   So if you are not already on the register…..sign up now!!! - CLICK HERE

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Titanic Reading on Radio Ulster



In April I found myself caught up with all the hype and excitement of the Titanic Centeenery Celebrations and was thrilled to be invited to read  one of the Titanic Letters on Radio Ulster.  In order for me to read the letter, I memorised it and then we recorded it and it was the final letter to go out on 17th April.

The letter was an actual letter written by one of the survivors, a young girl called Mary, who was travelling home to America on board the Titanic with her Mother  on that fateful night. 

Reading the letter, I was struck by the horror, panic, sense of futility, fear, pending doom and immense loss, which Mary and her mother, Elizabeth were experiencing.  It was an amazing feeling to be reading Mary’s words one hundred years later!




Inspire Event at Castle Buildings



In the run up to the Olympics, I have been attending a lot of events.  One of these was the Inspire Event at Castle Buildings, Stormont on 3rd May and I thought you might like to see a photo of  what I got up to at this event!
Photo of Wayne and  myself, lol!