QUINN Building Products UGAAWA MERIT AWARD For December 2016

When someone sets a world record, they are sure to be in line to pick up other awards and so it is with Lorcan McBride, the 15-year-old Omagh CBS student who went to Arizona, last month, and did what no other teenage handballer had ever achieved. He won three gold medals at the USHA National Junior 4-Wall Championships.

“I was surprised and delighted when told by the organisers that I was the first person to win three gold medals at the Juniors,” said Lorcan.

Not only did he achieve that record feat but he did it across different competitions, winning at small ball, large ball and doubles. In 16 games he never dropped a match and lost only 34 aces, winning six games 21-0 and five at 21-1. The highest number of points that any opponent took off him was seven and that was in the Doubles final.

Lorcan McBride receives his December Merit Award from UGAAWA chairman John Martin (centre) and Seamus McMahon, Quinn Building Products Sales and Marketing Manager.

With a December victory like that it was difficult to pass Lorcan for our Quinn Building Products December Merit Award. He did have opposition from Paddy Quigg, who starred with Kilrea in the Ulster Minor Football Tournament, Peter Harte (Tyrone) and Charlie Vernon (Armagh) who both impressed in the O'Fiaich Cup but McBride came through the debate.

“I'm told that I am the youngest winner of this award and that is a great honour,” smiled Lorcan after being presented with his award by Seamus McMahon, Quinn Building Products Sales and Marketing Director.

“It was my first time to play in the US Juniors. I had high hopes of doing well but never expected to return home with three gold medals. I'm hoping that there will be many more medals to come.”

He has, of course, already tucked away three All-Ireland trophies with his next big event being the All-Ireland U16 Championships in a few months' time. The Omagh CBS fifth year student also plays football so with playing both codes and coaching for both, plus studying his free time is limited. “It takes a lot of time management to keep handball, football and studies all going,” he reflected.

As his award, Lorcan receives an engraved Belleek Living Vase, training gear from O'Neill's International Sports, specially engraved cuff links from Carlingford Design House and a medical kit bag from 3FiveTwo Communications on behalf of Kingsbridge Private Hospital, Belfast. He also gets two tickets to the UGAAWA annual awards presentation function on January 27, at the Four Seasons Hotel.               Pictures by Jim Dunne.