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Ice Skating Coach, Dempsey Andrews, has been crowned 2015 Sports Coach of the Year at a prestigious Gala Awards Ceremony at the Civic Headquarters, Lisburn, on Friday night.

The new Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council hosted the Awards Gala which saw over 300 sports men and women from all sports join together to celebrate the City Council's Sporting Heroes.

Dempsey, aged 19, was crowned 2015 Sports Coach of the Year against a strong panel of finalists. It is a great achievement and honour for someone so young to have been selected as the overall winner.

Dempsey, a champion ice skater herself, started skating at the age of five at Dundonald International Ice Bowl and went on to represent Northern Ireland in competitions, winning over 30 podium positions across the UK, including 16 consecutive Gold medals. Her winning streak didn’t end there and to add to her success she was also selected as a Northern Ireland Ambassador for the 2012 Olympic Games and carried the famous flame through Belfast.

After turning professional at the age of 18, Dempsey became Northern Ireland's youngest National Ice Skating Coach and has now turned all her hard work, dedication and ambition into teaching the stars of the future.

Last year Dempsey launched Northern Ireland's first Ice Skating Academy and it has exceeded all expectations. To date her pupils have achieved over 1000 certificates and awards and is moving into National Ice Skating UK certificates and standards. With over 200 members and a bursting waiting list there is simply not enough hours in the day for Dempsey as she strives to inspire the next generation of athletes.

Dempsey said;

"I am so delighted to have been presented with this award! This isn’t just a job to me, it’s what I have revolved my whole life around and I am so proud of each and everyone of my pupils at the Academy. 

"I teach all ages and abilities and my youngest skater on the ice is just two years old, it is so rewarding to see them achieve their goals and I’m excited for what the future has in store for them. 

"I am living my dream teaching at my own Academy and I will work endlessly to help all my skaters achieve their dreams too!”

Inspirational, talented and dedicated are just a few words used to describe Northern Ireland's number one Ice Skating Coach, who most definitely is a role model to all young people out there to follow their dreams.

Published 7th December 2015